back to article Study: The more science you know, the less worried you are about climate

A US government-funded survey has found that Americans with higher levels of scientific and mathematical knowledge are more sceptical regarding the dangers of climate change than their more poorly educated fellow citizens. The results of the survey are especially remarkable as it was plainly not intended to show any such thing …

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  1. ravenviz
    WTF?

    Product placement?

    Was the embedded ad for Statoil showing a drilling platform deliberate?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Product placement?

      ... there's ads on The Register?

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. asdf Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Product placement?

      Another week another LP or AO climate change denial article. As usual if bored you can find the obvious flaws and or bad journalism in the article or more likely just skip over the obvious opinion piece giving it the Utterly terrible article ranking it deserves.

      1. Sean Timarco Baggaley

        Another week, another moron uses the phrase "climate change denial".

        Here's a hint: nobody believes the Earth's climate isn't changing. The ONLY argument is about how much it's changing, and what—if anything—needs to be done about it.

        Some people are running around crying "Wolf! WOLF!"

        Others are simply asking, "Where? WHERE?"

        It really is that simple.

        1. Wilco 1
          Facepalm

          Re: Another week, another moron uses the phrase "climate change denial".

          That's not true at all, we have accurate measurements of how much the climate is changing. Despite that there are plenty of deniers of the hockey stick graph, which was confimed by the recent BEST study. And in evey climate thread on here there is at least someone who claims it got colder in the last 10 years or that all those scientists somehow forgot to take the solar cycle into account...

          1. Youngone Silver badge
            Joke

            Re: Another week, another moron uses the phrase "climate change denial".

            It's certainly got cooler in the last few months where I am. Of course that might just be weather, rather than climate.

          2. Robinson
            Thumb Down

            Re: Another week, another moron uses the phrase "climate change denial".

            "Despite that there are plenty of deniers of the hockey stick graph, which was confimed by the recent BEST study"

            What a load of utter bollocks. The BEST study did not confirm the Hockey Stick. Before you criticise others for their ignorance, it would be better if you did a little light reading first yourself.

            1. asdf Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: Another week, another moron uses the phrase "climate change denial".

              The hockey stick controversy is very political and all but just stating outright lies to win your argument is a punk ass move.

              BEST Conclusions:

              Global temperatures closely matched previous studies from NASA GISS, NOAA and the Hadley Centre, that have found global warming trends. The Berkely Earth group estimates that over the past 50 years the land surface warmed by 0.911°C, just 2% less than NOAA’s estimate. The team scientific director stated that "...this confirms that these studies were done carefully and that potential biases identified by climate change sceptics did not seriously affect their conclusions."

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Another week, another moron uses the phrase "climate change denial".

            "That's not true at all, we have accurate measurements of how much the climate is changing."

            Uhm, accurate measurements?

            How? Where?

            Many of those measuring stations was originally in the outskirts somewhere. As cities have grown, a significant number of these are now in urban areas.

            Yes, human activity affects the temperature measured... But that is unimportant. The claim is that our release of CO2 causes the climate to change catastrophically. So far there is no proof of that.

            Meanwhile we have lost focus on toxic NOx emissions (that can be easily felt on your own body if you visit a city where the majority drives cars fueled by diesel), nor do anyone care about toxic waste dumping in third-world countries.

            And before you bring up tree rings, riddle me this: How come a narrow ring band is interpreted as a decrease in temperature? If you heat up the climate signficantly, will these trees grow even more? Doubtful, isn't it?

            1. asdf Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: Another week, another moron uses the phrase "climate change denial".

              >Many of those measuring stations was originally in the outskirts somewhere. As cities have grown, a significant number of these are now in urban areas.

              The old urban heat island fallacy eh?

              The urban heat island effect and poor station quality did not bias the results obtained from earlier studies carried out by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Hadley Centre and NASA's GISS Surface Temperature Analysis. The team found that the urban heat island effect is locally large and real, but does not contribute significantly to the average land temperature rise, as the planet's urban regions amount to less than 1% of the land area. The study also found that while stations considered "poor" might be less accurate, they recorded the same average warming trend.

            2. asdf Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: Another week, another moron uses the phrase "climate change denial".

              I would argue that human released CO2 is a big problem but will agree its not the only gas we need to worry about. Methane is actually a far stronger greenhouse gas and the increase in world livestock is not good either. The quickest way probably to arrest global warming maybe to all become vegans but then again who the fucks wants to do that? Make the third world do it, more of them lol.

            3. Wilco 1
              Coat

              Re: Another week, another moron uses the phrase "climate change denial".

              Accurate measurements as in lots of weather and CO2 level monitoring stations, satellites measuring solar activity, earth albedo and IR emissions, polar ice coverage and height, global ocean levels etc. If you want to call these measurements inaccurate or biased then you've got to show convincing evidence. Merely alluding to heat island effect doesn't do it as it only affects a small subset of monitoring stations and is already corrected for (obviously).

              The fact that CO2 acts as a greenhouse gas is irrefutable. Releasing huge amounts of greenhouse gasses in a short timeframe so that CO2 sinks and other feedbacks cannot keep up will cause catastrophic climate change. A 2-3 degree temperature rise is already unavoidable, so you will experience yourself how bad that turns out to be for humankind.

              Modern diesels are very clean, and all cars are regularly tested to conform to strict emission limits. As a result air quality has improved dramatically in the last 30 years. However to get a much larger reduction you'd have to use electric or plug-in hybrids in town, improving efficiency, moving most emissions outside the city and allowing them to be filtered at the power station.

              All chemical reactions slow down with decreasing temperature, so tree rings become narrower as the tree grows more slowly. This only applies if it doesn't get too hot or too cold for the tree to survive.

              1. elderlybloke
                Pirate

                Re: Another week, another moron uses the phrase "climate change denial".

                Wilco !,

                "Modern diesels are very clean"

                Bloody hell mate, come down here to Kiwiland and sniff the bloody diesel fumes belching out of the trucks and buses.

                Some of them create their own smoke screen .

                No Bullshtit cobber.

          4. Naughtyhorse

            Re: Another week, another moron uses the phrase "climate change denial".

            The hockey stick has been proved reliable time and time again, even to the extent of revealing that nasa didn't always know where and when their satellites were.

            it's well past tiresome how the CC science remains pretty consistent, while the deniers keep on having to radically rethink and reinvent their gobshite to preserve their meme.

            this long since ceased to be a matter of science and has passed into the realm of the political, at which point, given the entrenched views of the deniers, further debate is pointless, lewis believes what lewis believes and there is literally nothing that anyone anywhere is ever going to say that is going to move him on this.

        2. asdf Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Another week, another moron uses the phrase "climate change denial".

          >nobody believes the Earth's climate isn't changing

          Santorum: There is no such thing as global warming. It is, in my opinion, there are hundreds of factors that cause the Earth to warm and cool, and the trace gas — of which human participation in this trace gas — is …

          >The ONLY argument is about how much it's changing, and what—if anything—needs to be done about it.

          Very reasonable and correct but unfortunately that is not the only argument among the rich and powerful here in The United States of Corporate Whores. In fact the right has become so anti intellectual that a significant number of its membership still doesn't believe natural selection is real or the earth is more than 5000 years old.

      2. Sirius Lee
        WTF?

        Re: Product placement?

        @asdf

        Or you could just bad mouth the article with an opinion piece and no facts either. You got my down vote.

        1. asdf Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Product placement?

          I long ago quit reading Lewis climate articles as they always cherry pick one sentence in some report and ignore all the caveats. I just like reminding every one to down vote his climate crap so perhaps he will write more about some of his other topics that are far more entertaining. As for AO his articles almost always suck and often he doesn't allow comments for a good reason so downvoting him is seldom even worth the time.

      3. Dave the Cat
        FAIL

        Re: Product placement?

        Great, thanks for informing us. Care to point out where? Facts and links please, we're hierarchical individualists don't you know. (well some of us are)

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ignorance

      Ignorance is bliss, and there are a lot of happy blissful people in The USA.

  2. Gordan

    Psychohistory?

    I thought we already have such a thing. We just call it "spin".

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: Psychohistory?

      Absolutely. In the US it takes a study to prove that making your citizens illiterate non-critical thinkers makes them more pliable to indoctrination.

      Whilst here in the UK they've been dumbing down the schools for the last 20 years.

  3. Irongut

    Should have kept the serfs illiterate

    They never should have allowed us to learn to read and write. Generations of Kings, Queens, Emperors and organised religion (all of them) could have told them that.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. asdf Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Should have kept the serfs illiterate

      Yep and cultures who have pushed most for this have floundered and been conquerored or made irrelevant by cultures better educated with bigger guns. There is a good reason why Islam makes up over %20 of the world's population but accounts for less than %5 of the world's wealth.

      1. Naughtyhorse

        Re: Should have kept the serfs illiterate

        %5 of the world's wealth.

        ???

        not counting oil reserves i guess.

        and for another thing what about your average thick as pigshit american christian fundamentalist? they would appear to make up the majority of the american electorate (it it NOT possible to get elected to high office in the US without going to church every Sunday), so shouldn't uncle sam be included in your count too?

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. asdf Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Should have kept the serfs illiterate

          >not counting oil reserves i guess.

          Nope those are included and its the only reason its not even lower. Commodities even ones as valuable as oil and gold in the grand scheme of GDP are a very small part for a modern industrial country. Its IP and or turning commodities into finished products where the real money is.

          >pigshit american christian fundamentalist? they would appear to make up the majority of the american electorate

          Nah only in the bottom ten states in income which are all red states and are mostly in the South. The just seem like the majority because they scream so loud.

          1. Naughtyhorse

            Re: Should have kept the serfs illiterate

            "Nah only in the bottom ten states in income which are all red states and are mostly in the South. The just seem like the majority because they scream so loud."

            fair point :-)

            still not convinced about the oil reserve thing tho

    3. Digital Adrenaline

      Re: Should have kept the serfs illiterate

      Harvard, Princeton, Yale, etc, etc, etc. I bet the Christian founders of those schools would object to your comments.

      When several reformers were burned at the stake because they wanted the Bible in "the language of the people", they took a stand on education that showed a conviction that you simply don't have.

      The biggest irony here is that the education that they originally sought to provide everyone, is the same education you are proving to have rejected to learn. You don't want to learn, your opinion supersedes anything you could possibly be taught, so you reject learning in favor of opinion.

      In the same way, this article just proves that both opposing views will use the evidence to support their view, and call anyone who opposes that view wrong, stupid or ignorant, rather than setting aside their agenda, and critically assessing both sides.

      Kev.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Should have kept the serfs illiterate

      Stop press: Educated people familiar with scientific method are more cynical.

      Isn't that the FREAKING POINT of it?!

      Scientific method teaches us to be cynical and require evidence. That's why people with brains don't want to heal the planet with magic crystals.

      Where's the story, Lewis?

      Stop press: Lewis Page jumps on any available soap box to write an opinion piece vaguely based on some news and liberally scattered with some of the most biased weasel-words I've seen in a news article since AO's last opinion piece.

      But, I guess that's the point of Lewis Page, too...

      1. Parma John
        Meh

        Re: Should have kept the serfs illiterate

        I hope you mean "skeptical" (or "sceptical")! Your quote reads a lot better if you substitute "cynical" with "skeptical."

  4. Dave 62
    Flame

    woah there! ...

    Half way into the article and what I've gleened from it is..

    These sociologists or whatever, have found out that people who know real science think climate change is maybe a bit overhyped.. and from this they have not drawn the conclusion that climate change is maybe a bit overhyped, they have instead pulled from their primary communications orrifices this notion that real scientists are all biased?

    What's more they have decided the best answer is class-targeted propoganda?

    To top it off I can only assume they think they know better than those of us who can do real science, that sceptical decisions are bad and that lying is the right thing to do, to save us from ourselves.

    concussive education required.

    1. DaWolf

      Re: woah there! ...

      you might want to read the *actual* nature article rather than Lewis's take on it before sneering.

      It normally shows the complete opposite from whatever Lewis says it does.

      1. Hieronymus Howerd

        Re: woah there! ...

        > "It normally shows the complete opposite from whatever Lewis says it does."

        Agreed. I'm even not sure why he's still writing for this particular organ. It's not like this is even vaguely related to IT.

        1. DaWolf

          Re: woah there! ...

          not just writing, now editor I believe.

          1. Hieronymus Howerd

            Re: woah there! ...

            > "editor"

            Explains a lot.

    2. foo_bar_baz
      Mushroom

      Re: woah there! ...

      1) Please look at figure 2 in the original Nature article.

      2) Please look at figure S1 in the supplementary PDF

      http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/extref/nclimate1547-s1.pdf

      Now, maybe you'll agree Lewis' headline should have been "The more science you know, the less worried you are about climate ... if you're an NRA member".

      So the main finding of the paper is that political orientation is actually a bigger factor in determining your view on climate change than education. Even educated people have a tendency to read scientific papers through tinted glasses, and pick out those parts that support their own *pre-conceived ideas*. Who would have thunk? Perhaps even El Reg hacks have a tendency to do just that.

    3. Graham Wilson
      Flame

      @Dave 62 -- Re: woah there! ...

      Ok, I've read the Nature article. Irrespective of whether editorial has a slant one way or the other, several issues stand out:

      1, The more one knows about science the more one questions simple existential statements about scientific matters that don't also have rigorous scientific underpinnings; and the more extraordinary scientific claims are then the more rigorous the underpinnings 'proofs' have to be. (It used to be this way and this is how it should be.)

      2. I'm not the slightest bit surprised with the results of this survey. In fact--from all the reports in the media in recent times--I'd thought the scientifically-literate had gone a bit bonkers, but it seems all's well with most of world's techies. (Note: here, I'm not discussing climate change per se, rather how scientific literacy affects one's perceptions and understanding of natural events.)

      3. It seems to me that the surveyed phenomenon isn't limited to just climate change but rather it also applies to many things. For example, in recent years, reports hyped up by an ignorant press have made the lay public terribly fearful of chemicals and nuclear materials etc. Consequently, there's almost no rational debate anymore: from the frenzy that follows industrial accidents one could be forgiven for thinking that say a spill of sodium hydroxide was as dangerous as an equal quantity of dioxin, similarly if a small alpha particle source goes missing then you'd think from reports that a few kilos of gamma-radiating cobalt-60 had been dropped into a lunchtime crowd--hysterical reactions seem to be the norm. Today, for many who've been taught science, it's nevertheless clear from their reactions to scientific phenomena, that they've gained little or no hands-on feel for the subject. This ought to be of considerable concern. (The reasons why it's so are vast subjects in and of themselves.)

      4. That psychologists and sociologists are now very concerned that the social engineering--brainwashing--hasn't been working as expected and that they're 'reevaluating' how this can be remedied is extremely disturbing. The postmodernists have just about already won round one with their arguments that there are no absolutes [read acceptable standards and such], to the extent that much of society prefers to listen to their frightening unreasoned mumbo-jumbo rather than to trust in scientific logic and the scientific method. Their concern over how 'social engineering' has escaped them and how a rethink is needed to recapture it, to me, seems likely to be the beginning of round two. This I consider to be an extremely worrying development and one that needs to be fought at all costs by all rationally-thinking people.

    4. CyberCod

      Re: woah there! ...

      Yeah, pisses me off too. I've not read the Register in a while.... starting to remember why I stopped.

  5. I think so I am?
    Coat

    Hahaha, so the silly little buggers couldn't get the stats to fit their propaganda peddling BS!

    Il get my coat as I suspect winter will still be cold and summer will still be hot.

    1. Graham Wilson
      Mushroom

      @I think so I am? -- Yuh better stick around.

      You had better stick around.

      Walking away from the issues and leaving them to the social 'sciences' to resolve is what too many scientists and engineers have done for the past 35-40 years (and definitely so from the Reagan-Thatcher era).

      In the absence of a decent fight from us scientists, engineers and techies--a fight we'd easily win with a bit of determination--then this rabble of scaredy-cat doomsayers, mumbo-jumbo artists and woolly-thinking postmodernists will have us all catapulting back into the dark Ages.

  6. Hollerith 1

    Skepticism does not mean doubt

    I am skeptical about all 'facts' with which I am presented (I hope I am, with a bit of advance notice and sober), to a lesser or greater degree. My skepticism about evolution is .000001%, my skepticism about the existence of a deity is 99.9999%. As I don't believe anything 100%, which would require faith, there is always the possibility that new evidence could alter or negate a held understanding. I assume this is part of the scientific mind-set: one is prepared to accept indefiniteness.

    1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

      Re: Skepticism does not mean doubt

      In many ways I have to agree that this seems the most plausible explanation: Those of a scientific mindset understand things and express themselves in different ways to those without.

      For example, to take your deity example, a non-scientific person may say they think there is absolutely no chance of a deity existing. A person with a science background would think about it and say that they think there is a negligible chance of a deity existing.

      To a lay-person these would sound the same, but the "scientist" is leaving the door open to the chance, even though they don't think the chance is large enough to make any difference.

    2. Thomas 18
      Boffin

      Re: Skepticism does not mean doubt

      The question posed in their study was:

      "How much risk do you believe climate change poses to human health, safety or prosperity?"

      Likert scale 1-10. Nowhere does it mention skepticism.

      1. Primo

        Re: Skepticism does not mean doubt

        The question posed in their study was:

        "How much risk do you believe climate change poses to human health, safety or prosperity?"

        This is important. It's perfectly possible to believe that climate change is happening, and even that it may have large consequences for many people, but not be concerned about the risks because those are minimal from the point of view of a wealthy westerner. In other words the question is not about being sceptical of the science, but of the risks posed by the situation. Two different things.

      2. h4rm0ny

        Re: Skepticism does not mean doubt

        ""How much risk do you believe climate change poses to human health, safety or prosperity?""

        If that's the actual question asked in the paper, then it doesn't even equate to AGW. Few, if any, skeptics of AGW argue that the climate does not change. We debate whether and how much human activity is responsible for it. Someone who devoutly believed that CO2 was a minor contributor and that Climate Change was primarily driven by solar activity, would still be as much included as someone who 100% believed in AGW.

        Similarly, a number of people make supportable arguments that a small global rise in temperatures of 2-3C would have an overall beneficial effect, increasing arable land, for example. Such people might be sincere believers in AGW and have very low concern. If their paper is intended to assess doubt / faith in AGW (which their entire conclusion about how to convince people to be more alarmed about climate change implies), then the question is very badly thought out.

    3. Zombie Womble

      Re: Skepticism does not mean doubt

      "As I don't believe anything 100%, which would require faith,"

      It is not faith to believe in my own existence, I think therefore I am.

      The rest I leave to evidence or the lack of it. I cannot in any rational way believe in the possible existence of any god and I never will, I am 100% certain there is no god.

      You may call me irrational but I will say that the whole notion of a god is impossible, therefore it cannot exist.

      1. John G Imrie Silver badge

        I think therefore I am, what?

        A human or an elaborate computer program being force fed inputs to make me believe that I'm a human.

        1. Zombie Womble

          Re: I think therefore I am, what?

          "A human or an elaborate computer program being force fed inputs to make me believe that I'm a human."

          That is exactly how these 'trick cycliststs' think we should be, they think we can be 'force fed inputs' and be made to believe anything they choose as long as they have enough resources.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Timmy B Silver badge

        Re: Skepticism does not mean doubt

        Just because you appear to think doesn't mean that you are. What you think of as existence could be a vast AI construct.

        Equally you haven't seen everything and one of the things you haven't seen may provide glaring evidence of some kind of deity.

        These vague and unlikely things are 0.0000000000000001% certain to me, but that means with all honesty I cannot say there is no god and that I actually exist with 100% certainty.

        1. Zombie Womble

          Re: Skepticism does not mean doubt @0.0000000000000001% Timmy B

          "0.0000000000000001%"

          I stand by my certainty but accept that some people still accept some slight measure of The God Delusion.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Skepticism does not mean doubt

          I think you've missed the point of "I think therefore I am". It doesn't mean "I think therefore things are exactly how I perceive them to be" but rather the exact opposite, Descartes believed that your senses were unreliable and that only reason could be trusted.

          He claimed that the existence of thoughts implies the existence of something to hold those thoughts. Whether it is a person, an AI or simply a universe with physical laws that allow for thoughts to be floating around in the ether isn't important.

    4. Graham Wilson
      Stop

      Re: Skepticism does not mean doubt -- And yuh better 'evidence' in the heading too!

      Irrefutable--well almost irrefutable evidence is key to holding a position or view. And it ought to be so--EVEN IF YOU HATE WHAT YOU SEE. If very reluctantly, one has to always accept the facts.

      Here's the quintessential example:

      At the turn of the 20th Century, the German physicist Max Planck was confronted with one of the 19th C's most intractable and problematical problems--the ultraviolet catastrophe where stuff, when heated, didn't radiate at wavelengths predicted by classical physics. Planck, who was steeped in classical physics and loved it, very reluctantly came to the conclusion that for theory to fit the facts that radiation energy had to be quantized (came in discreet amounts). From then, as they say, the rest was history.

      It seems to me that all too often the lay public conveniently ignore facts, so also do those who ought to know better--scientists, et al, with an agenda also conveniently forget or dismiss them for political reasons.

  7. Maxson
    FAIL

    Seems a bit like....

    ....they did a test, then when the test didn't show the "right" results they said "well, those guys we tested were the wrong type of people anyway, we're still right!"

    1. DaWolf

      Re: Seems a bit like....

      actually, it sounds like they did a test, the results weren't what they expected so they examined the data more closely to see why their prediction was wrong.

      Then they published the results that explain the discrepancy.

      I've heard of this kind of thing, where you look into a subject more deepy and examine further, and when a hypothesis is wrong you find out why....it''s called 'science'.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Seems a bit like....

        DaWolf is right. They examined the data more closely to see why their prediction was wrong, then decided that the only way to sell climate change was with heart-wrenching pictures of polar bears stranded on tiny icebergs, because publishing data wasn't doing the trick, what with all of the mini-scandals involved with the AGW gang.

        1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

          Re: Seems a bit like....

          "heart-wrenching pictures of polar bears stranded on tiny icebergs"

          "Stranded" doesn't come near to describing it. Look at this little wonder:

          Polar Bear

          1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

            @Polar Bear video

            that was just plane sick.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Happy

        Re: Seems a bit like....

        "...actually, it sounds like they did a test, the results weren't what they expected so they examined the data more closely to see why their prediction was wrong."

        Perhaps we can convince some of these so-called climate "scientists" to do likewise.....

      3. itzman
        Linux

        Re: Seems a bit like....

        That's not how climate ' science' is done. When the results don't fit the model, you discard all the data points that are out of whack and tweak the constant a bit and lie about everything else.

        Knowing you are right means the science bit is a mere formality. Like the man in the soap powder adverts in an astonishingly white coat, who tell you its scientifically proven' to wash whiter than white'

  8. TeeCee Gold badge
    Facepalm

    I can't help thinking.....

    .....that it's a short step from there to claiming that scientists' refusal to accept the dogma proves that they're in league with the devil.

    Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.......

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      @TeeCee

      Unless the end credits are already rolling, then you're pretty safe.

  9. Don Jefe
    Stop

    Skeptical

    I'm skeptical the author read the actual article. Nearly 1/4 of it is copy & paste from a Fox News article last night. Not just the quotes, the actual text...

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Shannon Jacobs
        Holmes

        Re: Skeptical

        Lewis Page? Cut out his spin and propaganda? Whatever you're smoking you need to cut back, way back. The contrarian attitude of the Register is something I mostly like. It often gets you to think, though in some cases it's not worth the effort.

        Interpretation of this one: Better educated people are harder to panic and stampede in a way that is conveniently comparable to the idiots who watch Fox News or who believe anything written by the Lewis Page. They understand there are real problems, but they aren't simpleminded about the solutions.

        Of course I can only speak for myself, but I'm sure climate change is a major problem, but there are lots of change-related problems. If human beings can't take the blame, just wait a few decades (based on industrial trends from 1800). Unfortunately, I'm also of the opinion that it's too late to do anything constructive, thanks in large part to such cheap propaganda tools as Lewis Page. We're just going to have to deal with the mess as well as we can--and of course the rich bastards who profited on the way down have the cash to move to the best locations, wherever they are.

        This one (climate change) isn't going to exterminate us. Heck, I'm rather sure that nuclear war would not exterminate us completely, though the survivors might wish it had. My money would be on a greedy bio-technician doing the job, perhaps while playing with genetically modified mushrooms. Unfortunately, I'm not one of the lucky aliens gambling the quatloos on our survival. (I say "lucky" because my current belief is that most species fail the survival tests we now face, but I do believe in lucky survivors who obviously don't want to talk to us, presumably because this is the interesting part of the game. "I'll wager 5,000 quatloos that the newcomers will destroy themselves by their new years of 2014.")

      2. Marshalltown
        IT Angle

        Re: Skeptical

        Comes of believing computers more than geology or thermometers. The logic chain of "the models must be right, we need to fix the input data" is scarcely conduscive of reliable conclusions. CO2 has reached levels more than three times present without the planet turning into Venus or Waterworld (crap movie anyway), ergo it won't. In fact, it was more biologically productive. Had to be or all those dinos would have starved.

        1. Tim Parker

          Re: Skeptical

          "Comes of believing computers more than geology or thermometers."

          Blimey - who does that ? Perhaps whoever it is might like to take a look at how scientists do it... might learn something.

          "The logic chain of "the models must be right, we need to fix the input data" is scarcely conduscive of reliable conclusions."

          Absolutely - just as well that's not what happens with any of the climate models i've ever seen or heard of.

          "CO2 has reached levels more than three times present without the planet turning into Venus or Waterworld (crap movie anyway), ergo it won't. In fact, it was more biologically productive. Had to be or all those dinos would have starved."

          Viewed on CO2 levels alone that's about right - as most folk would agree with... however most of the biggest concerns have nothing to do with the absolute levels of CO2, do they ? I mean, you do understand rate dependency don't you ?

    2. jai

      Re: Skeptical

      copy & paste? you do know you're reading The Register don't you?

    3. Tim Parker

      Re: Skeptical

      "I'm skeptical the author read the actual article."

      Me too - i've just finished the paper and so far the similarity between it and this article is conspicuous by it's absence. If I had to precise the paper so far, it would be to quote a line from it

      "Even if cultural cognition serves the personal interests of individuals, this form of reasoning can have a highly negative impact on collective decision making. What guides individual risk perception, on this account, is not the truth of those beliefs but rather their congruence with individuals’ cultural commitments."

      but that is perhaps only meaningful in context.... so perhaps the best advice would be to go and read the paper, it's actually very interesting. What the actual finding seem to indicate is that the effects of 'motivated cognitiion' is strongest in people who have a world view that is strongly hierarchical and individualistic - and less so, but still present, in people who aren't selfish c*nts so inclined.

      It might also be worth having a look at some of the earlier work from Dan Kahan, e.g.

      http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20928043.300-how-not-to-change-a-climate-sceptics-mind.html

  10. Pete 2 Silver badge

    All you need to read

    > ... [people] with higher levels of scientific and mathematical knowledge are more sceptical

    and that's all folks!

    It's not about climate change, voodoo, astrology, psychology or the latest health fad. It's just a state of mind. Everyone's on the spectrum between iconoclastic and faith-believer. It's just that more people with more rational knowledge will tend to ask "why?" and not be fobbed off with responses that don't stand up to reason,

  11. localzuk

    Science = scepticism

    I'm not sure the conclusions are right from this. Scientists are sceptics - that's what makes them tick. They look at something and go 'is that right?' and then work to find out.

    So, scepticism is not the same as denial. It just means that people with a higher level of scientific knowledge need to be convinced properly, and not with the usual 'OMG WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE' hype that the media normally pedals.

  12. Grommet
    Facepalm

    So the more scientific knowledge you have the more likely you are to want proof of any statement of fact?

    Well Duh!!! State the bleeding obvious...

    That's why these so called soft scientists shouldn't really be called scientists at all.

    1. Don Jefe
      Meh

      No, they aren't scientists. No develpoers aren't engineers & no Lewis Page isn't much of a reader. He's much better at plagarism & keyword spamming.

      The missing influence of John Lettuce is sorly missing in this recent spate of politically charged garbage all Reg readers have been subjected to.

      I trust El Reg to bring me either tech/sci news or some funny shit. I neither want or need another Daily Mail or Fox News for garbage. Maybe the red top fits??? I hope not...

  13. John Robson Silver badge
    Boffin

    Foundation...

    "*Though in the Foundation saga this was only possible with vast galactic populations of the far future, with humans as numerous as gas molecules in a pressure vessel, and even then it was necessary to keep the existence of Psychohistory a secret."

    Presumably you're not talking about the LOHAN pressure vessel...

  14. DaWolf

    Lewis biased, again

    ""One aim of science communication, we submit, should be to dispel this tragedy ... A communication strategy that focuses only on transmission of sound scientific information, our results suggest, is unlikely to do that. As worthwhile as it would be, simply improving the clarity of scientific information will not dispel public conflict ..."

    Thus it is, according to the assembled profs, that the US government should seek to fund a communication strategy on climate change which is not focused on sound scientific information."

    a does not equal b. Your "thus it is" is twaddle.

    1. Roger Varley

      Re: Lewis biased, again

      @DaWolf. You forgot to include or read the quote which immediately follows the conclusion you object to;

      "It does not follow, however, that nothing can be done ... Effective strategies include use of culturally diverse communicators, whose affinity with different communities enhances their credibility, and information-framing techniques that invest policy solutions with resonances congenial to diverse groups. Perfecting such techniques through a new science of science communication is a public good of singular importance."

      So - it does rather look as if a equals b in this instance.

      1. DaWolf

        Re: Lewis biased, again

        Hi Roger, let me make it simpler

        Lewis states "thus it is....that the us government should seek to fund a communication stategy...which is not focussed on sound scientific information"

        Spot the NOT. We're talking and/or/not gates here.

        If we look at the piece he quotes

        " ... A communication strategy that focuses only on transmission of sound scientific information, our results suggest, is unlikely to do that. "

        spot the only. That's an AND in the way this is used.

        The opposite of AND is not NOT, as I'm sure most reg readers know.

        So basically what we have here is a logical fail by Page where he basically can't parse a simple sentence correctly, and summarises it incorrectly.

        1. DaWolf

          Re: Lewis biased, again

          I'm loving the thumbs down from someone who hasn't challenged the logic. It's like "I don't like the logic! It is against my personal likes and dislikes! I will downvote!"

          It's logic. It doesn't care about your personal likes and dislikes. Deal with it.

          1. jai

            Re: Lewis biased, again

            Er? are you sure you've parsed the sentences correctly?

            lets say (by turning the sentence components into variables in a highly unsound scientific manner):

            A = communication strategy

            B = sound scientific information

            C = other information outside of 'sound scientific' Venn diagram bubble = !B

            D = good result

            " ... A communication strategy that focuses only on transmission of sound scientific information, our results suggest, is unlikely to do that. "

            So A + B != D

            or another way A + (!C) != D

            Because B is a small subset and C is everything else that is not in that subset, we can infer

            A + C = D (since A cannot change state and D has only two possible states it can be in, good or bad)

            which is A + !B = D

            Lewis states "thus it is....that the us government should seek to fund a communication stategy...which is not focussed on sound scientific information"

            So this is A + (!B) = D

            seems to make sense to me.

            1. DaWolf

              Re: Lewis biased, again

              Hi Jai,

              the missing part in your above is where you say

              A = communication strategy.

              What it should be is

              A1 = current communication strategy

              A2 = alternate communication strategy

              (A1/A2 to keep your other letters the same)

              In addition,

              C = other information outside of 'sound scientific' Venn diagram bubble = !B

              This could include, for instance, sound economic (economic != scientific).

              so presenting sound economic arguments using either A1 or A2 could = D.

              presenting sound scientific arguments using A2 could = D

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Lewis biased, again

              @Jai,

              It looks like the up/down-vote ratio to your comment seems to vindicate the report. (and that there is a higher percentage of scientific knowledge in the El Reg community - which we all knew anyway :-)

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Lewis biased, again

                Except that what was said was in the article is: "A communication strategy that focuses only (my emphasis) on transmission of sound scientific information, our results suggest, is unlikely to do that"

                This means, using your notation:

                A + B = !D (probably - note the "...is unlikely...")

                but also

                A + B + C = D

                They do not say (as Lewis would have it):

                A + !B + C = D

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Lewis biased, again

            "It's logic. It doesn't care about your personal likes and dislikes. Deal with it."

            My brain wants to upvote you. My sense of irony wants to downvote logic without comment.

            Boo to logic and engaging brain. Yay to mindless comment-voting.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surely this is just good old human nature:

    On the one hand as i know I know sod all about horse racing I rarely try and tell jockeys how to run races. On the other hand I used to play football once a week with my mates from the pub, therefore I know more than the England manager - I got some free shares in gas privatisation so I know more than the governor of the Bank of England - I have a CSE in applied science, so I know more than the climate scientists.

    The great thing about science - it doesn't care about your opinion, and it's not a democracy. Facts are facts and scientists work to understand the working of the world. You are all welcome to stick fingers in your ears and recite lalalala, but it won't alter CO2's effects on climate.

  16. Jeebus

    Lewis Page in towing Fox news line, repeating the article they published, with ads for oil companies inside.

    As if we needed more proof the guy is a right wing willfully ignorant lunatic. A man who seems to revel in anti-intellectualism.

    1. DaWolf

      Yep. The weird thing is that Page is actually fairly well educated yet seems wilfully obtuse.

    2. Chris Miller
      FAIL

      Ads for oil companies

      Do you understand how Internet ads work? No, clearly not.

    3. hplasm Silver badge
      Headmaster

      That would be-

      toe the line. Not tow.

      Psht! "experts..."

  17. imanidiot Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Holy research bias, batman!

    And these people wonder why they are often not taken serious by those with a scientific background...

    The problem is not that most scientifically sceptical people deny climate change. It's that most with a scientific background see enough ways to prevent any big impact on "human health, safety or prosperity". I know a lot of "climate sceptics", myself included, who are not that sceptic on the concept/reality of climate change, but very much so on the impact its touted to have. And then even more so on the half-arsed, unproductive or even downright damaging ways the "greens" are shouting we should solve it.

    This kind of research makes me facepalm.

  18. Pinkerton
    Thumb Up

    Everyone's a winner!

    I'm playing fallacy bingo using this url - http://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/poster - as a score sheet.

    A couple more articles like this and I'll have crossed them all off...

  19. Zombie Womble

    So.

    It's not just creationists that think the ignorant are the most responsive to the dogma..

    Down with education, or you will all burn in (a mythical Venusian) Hell.

  20. Battsman
    Devil

    Mr. Page is lamely (intentionally?) obtuse and ethically bankrupt.

    Ignore Mr. Pages spin and just go read the article. Basically, the analysis says personality type plays into skepticism more than education. I'd chalk that one up to a no-brainer. Selfish bastards are selfish and don't want to hear anything that would imply they have to do something that is contrary to their personal preferences. Those of the overtly caring nature desire to save the world regardless of whether it needs saving or not. Or to put it another way, we are more animal than intellectual - go figure / <begin surprise>

    (I thought about a title of "Lews Page is a Tool," but that seemed to be over-played).

    1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

      Re: Mr. Page is lamely (intentionally?) obtuse and ethically bankrupt.

      That's an interesting take on selfishness.

      Has it ever occured to you that the so-called "Western world" is almost devoid of "carbon-heavy" manufacturing these days? That countries most impacted by CO2 regulation are developping countries, who need a lot of cheap energy to raise their living standard to something acceptable? (not talking "2 SUVs and air con on all the time" here, just clean water and basic medical care). Ever thought about whose interest it is to keep these countries underdevelopped to keep labor cheap and docile? Think it is a coincidence that the best way to keep them that way is to deprieve them of cheap energy? Who is selfish now?

      Not even to mention how scared the US-centric economy is of China and India... whose economic growth just so happens to rely a lot on carbon-heavy energy (especially India).

      Of course that doesn't mean we should not watch our energy consumption and waste production. Not for judeo-christian guilt and the sin of global warming though. This is a red herring.

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: Mr. Page is lamely (intentionally?) obtuse and ethically bankrupt.

        If you're looking for conspiracy theories about Carbon reduction, you don't need to get as sophisticated as you got about desires to keep countries underdeveloped or docile. The more oil-hungry other countries get, the more prices for the West rise. Simple and obvious. One of the primary reasons for the US invasion of Afghanistan was the building of an oil pipeline so that the West could purchase on a parity with China from Russian oil fields.

  21. Tom 13
    Unhappy

    Sociologist eh?

    So there was never any chance of hard data anyway.

  22. Arnold Lieberman
    Big Brother

    Next

    Voting rights to be withdrawn from people who express a preference for right-of-centre politics, cos they obviously aren't going to vote with the welfare of the world in mind.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Terminator

    Death by think people - one day will be a recognised crime

    one day :(.

    Gore looking ar you.

  24. hugo tyson
    Thumb Up

    Science == skepticism

    Absolutely; the point about science is that scientific truths (as we use the term) are the intersection of everyone's experience, that is the experiment is reproducible and you get the same results whatever else is varied.

    Superstition/alternative-therapy/&c &c requires believing the union of everyone's experience; ie. if one person sews shallots into their turn-ups and their rheumatism goes away, that's the basis for Shallot Therapy...

    Problem is that Climate "Science" is just extrapolation; no-one can do experiments aside from just this one, this big one. So it falls between the two. Nontheless, real scientists inevitably and correctly say "prove it" - as well as being more open to other solutions, even the more extreme technical or building solutions such as huge sea walls.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Science == skepticism

      Yes, the search for the Higgs Bozon is rubbish as well, because they can't directly observe it, it's all just on paper, proper scientists tell the people at Cern to "prove it".

      Seriously: You obviously know nothing about scientific method if you think that it all has to be proved experimentally, also that nothing in climate science can be proven experimentally.

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Angel

        Re: Science == skepticism

        Correct! Bozons are not real- unlike Bosons...

        Bozos on the other hand are many, and like to think the sky is falling.

        1. TheRealRoland
          Happy

          Re: Science == skepticism

          The sky is falling - or maybe instead the land is rising? ice sheets melt, more water, land floats, you know ;-)

          I want to see that scientifically proven. And no, when proof is presented, i still don't believe it, because I'm a self-proclaimed Sceptic. Because who says that that proof is really proof? Yeah, thought so :-)

          i like how commentards comment on how stupid, anti-intellectual, etc. others are, and then sign off with the best of typos... Bozons, towing the line, etc.

          Probably to keep the land from floating away again...

      2. hugo tyson
        Alert

        Re: Science == skepticism

        You're criticising a stronger statement than I intended to make. Maybe I shouldn't have put climate science in quotes - all I mean is it is qualitatively different from the Newtonian physics or Ohmic electrics or simple thermodynamics that you can confirm repeatably on a lab bench.

        Yeah, I know that modelling and seeing whether the model fits the observed actual later data is also the scientific method, and that can say things are True in a scientific sense provided the assumptions in the model are correct. And yes, of course, the parts that are actually physics can be verified in a lab or an actual outdoor (undersea, ice-pack...) experiment.

        It's the question of whether the model chosen was correct, is where I'm claiming that the more informed science or maths types rightly have skepticism; and also the more outlandish claims of armageddon due to societal changes.

  25. John A Blackley

    Makes sense

    "the US government should seek to fund a communication strategy on climate change which is not focused on sound scientific information."

    Politicians on both sides of the Atlantic make all their decisions on the assumption that we're all stupid anyway.

    1. foo_bar_baz

      Re: Makes sense

      Except that's not what the article says. That's what Lewis Page tells you.

      The article says *only* focusing on making science communication clearer will not persuade anyone of the risks climate change, because people's world views weigh more than the scientific evidence.

      Ironically Lewis' article is a perfect example of this. He chooses to interpret the article in his own manner, and I really suggest you pay attention to the parts he has redacted with ".."s:

      "communicators should endeavor to create a deliberative climate in which accepting the best available science does not threaten any group’s values."

      Proof the article does *not* advocate not focusing on sound science. It advocates presenting the "best available science" but in a value neutral manner.

      1. John A Blackley

        Re: Makes sense

        You don't encounter sarcasm much in your everyday life, do you?

    2. Dorobuta
      Happy

      Re: Makes sense

      "the US government should seek to fund a communication strategy on climate change which is not focused on sound scientific information."

      Politicians on both sides of the Atlantic make all their decisions on the assumption that THEY're NOT stupid anyway.

      Fixed it for you..

  26. Jay Zelos
    Stop

    I think some of the comments are being a bit harsh on Lewis, he is simply reporting someone else conclusions.

    Interestingly, most of the sciencists I've read seem to agree that global warming is happening and that humans are responsable for increasing the rate. What no one seems to know, is what is going to happen next. We are currently in an internacine period of warmth during a major ice age and no one knows when it may end.

    1. Jeebus

      This site is supposed to be above parroting rhetoric from a discredited, and utterly banal source in Fox News.

    2. DaWolf

      but

      He isn't simply reporting someone elses conclusions, because he is presenting their conclusions in a twisted form. That's what people have spotted. Orlowski does it far more mind, but they are both pretty shoddy in this regard on climate change. At least Page actually writes well on other subjects (I think, anyway), whereas Orlowski, he's just shit.

    3. DrXym Silver badge

      There is reporting and then there is systematically cherry picking and spinning.

  27. The Jase
    Trollface

    what it actually says

    What it actually says is:

    Nobody likes a Tory.

  28. Jonathan White
    WTF?

    "the US government should seek to fund a communication strategy on climate change which is not focused on sound scientific information."

    Has there ever been a government communication strategy that *was* based on sound scientific information?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Off the top of my head

      The "Don't die of ignorance" communication strategy.

      1. Jonathan White

        Re: Off the top of my head

        Yeah, I was considering that one. It's genuinely the only one I can think of, even though it's, what, over 30 years ago now? Which is why it's the one everyone thinks of first (i.e. 'off the top of my head'). I suspect it would prove very hard to come up with another one.

        It's rarety makes it memorable.

        Jon

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Off the top of my head

          Catch it, bin it, kill it.

  29. Gary F

    Or to put it another way...

    If you're thick you're more likely to believe what "experts" tell you. For everyone else who has a reasonable understanding or appreciation of the complexities of climate you're smart enough to come to your own conclusion. (Or if they're familiar with climate change through history or are natural skeptics!)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Or to put it another way...

      "If you're thick you're more likely to believe what "experts" tell you. For everyone else who has a reasonable understanding or appreciation of the complexities of climate you're smart enough to come to your own conclusion"

      Except smart people believe what experts tell them, because they can take a judgement as to how expert someone likely is. The people who think that they can get an overview of a subject as complex as climate science, without serious study, and make up their own decision are the real idiots.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Or to put it another way...

      Also, I generally believe what my GP tells me, I have very little understanding of the human body.

      Saying that only thick people go to experts is a ridiculous argument.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    An interesting parallel with another time (back when thought-crime was even more rampant)

    Way back in the '20s and '30s a very trendy pseudo-scientific belief known as "eugenics" was being peddled as the answer to many of mankind's problems. Some political leaders used it to justify mass genocides before and during WWII.

    Read the foreword in Michael Crichton's "State of Fear" for a good recap of that low period in human history.

    Since world over-population must clearly be the un-stated source (or at least a cause) of all things globally warming, perhaps educated types are now a little concerned as to where and how far the debate is going. Perhaps some are even expressing unhealthy skepticism towards the holy tenets of climate science. Something clearly something needs to be done or others will begin expressing skepticism too.

    How about re-education camps to ensure that everyone gets with the program?

    But first we will need to find a way to fliter out the clever ones, the independent thinkers, you know the type.... we can start by analyzing their internet browsing habits and forum memberships.

    (Feel free to contribute to this non-exhaustive list)

    Today, we can't:

    1) Board airplanes without being physically molested,

    2) Make jokes (electronically or otherwise) about bombs in or near airports

    3) Earn a decent living or have a lifetime career.

    4) Vote for intelligent public leaders...

    5) Enjoy some degree of privacy while shopping on-line

    6) Download free music, search for "naughty" sites, etc...

    So what's next?

    Do I just give up my second car (oops... did that already) or will you need my first-born child also?

    And if the list of lost rights becomes any longer, can we petition for their return, or will it already be too late?

    Freaky huh?

    Brrrrr....... gotta go AC on this one, for obvious reasons

  31. robin48gx
    Go

    Psychohistory...

    I thought it was a process for understanding mass psychology, and also reducing natural language down to mathematics (and therefore revealing true meaning and intent from diplomatic speak).

  32. bvc

    scam

    The whole thing is about money and political power. Period. Keep that as your paradigm not science.

  33. 100113.1537
    WTF?

    Pots calling kettles black?

    What I find interesting is that whenever Lewis Page writes an article here in El Reg, he is accused of being paid by someone (since he only seems to write on climate change and defence contracts, perhaps he is in a somewhat polarized area). However, since he is a paid journalist, his whole point is to get people to read his work and thus why should anyone get upset about his rhetoric - that is what journalists do (and I personally find his work enjoyable to read so well done Lewis).

    However, the people most keen to accuse him of this horrendous bias of being paid to write then go on and quote all kinds of other stories by other journalists with never a care about who pays THEM! Almost everybody in this debate is paid for their work on it in some way or another. Some people are paid directly and some indirectly, but to castigate anyone on this basis is hypocrisy of the highest order.

    Get off it and look at what is written and use those supposedly skeptical faculties on that rather than shooting the messenger. Lewis writes interesting articles - enjoy them, but if you want to know the science, read the links he always includes with his articles and make your own mind up.

    1. foo_bar_baz
      Thumb Down

      Re: Pots calling kettles black?

      There's bias and there's blatant lies.

      Lewis' subheading: 'Abandon focus on sound science', say trick-cyclists

      Lewis "paraphrasing" the article: Thus it is, according to the assembled profs, that the US government should seek to fund a communication strategy on climate change which is not focused on sound scientific information.

      What the Nature article says, but redacted by Lewis with ".."s: communicators should endeavor to create a deliberative climate in which accepting the best available science does not threaten any group’s values.

      So they actually advocate best available science, not abandoning focus on sound science. What's Lewis' point again?

    2. QuiteEvilGraham
      Holmes

      Re: Pots calling kettles black?

      Indeed.

      Lewis Page does tend to attract lots of flak in the comments on his articles, which after all, are only opinion pieces, much like any other journalism. As to where this opinion comes from, well you can read his book; http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lions-Donkeys-And-Dinosaurs-Blundering/dp/0099484420/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1338302704&sr=8-1.

      Having read it, I have a lot of sympathy with his viewpoint; not dissimilar to Paxman's "Why is this bastard lying to me?" interview default with politicians.

      "Follow the money" is usually a good thing to bear in mind when trying to understand differing sides to a story and the incentives to favour a particular narrative. There are undoubtedly lots of people with their noses firmly in the trough of public funds, and they most certainly do not wish this to attract too much attention. Resorting to an ad hominem is usually a fair indicator that something is getting too close for comfort.

      1. indulis
        Facepalm

        Re: Pots calling kettles black?

        There are undoubtedly lots of people with their noses firmly in the trough of public funds, and they most certainly do not wish this to attract too much attention. Resorting to an ad hominem is usually a fair indicator that something is getting too close for comfort.

        Anyone else see the irony in this comment? This looks like the world's biggest ad hominem covering all climate scientists, other scientists whose research outcomes support AGW, and the institutions they belong to, the publications, the peer reviewers.

  34. DrXym Silver badge

    This must be why

    Every prominent climate agency and scientific academy is skeptical about global warming. Oh wait, none of them are. They all publicly endorse the notion of climate change and of it being man made.

    What I want to know is why The Register is so firmly in the denialist camp. Is it just for trolling and the lulz or is someone paying them to do it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This must be why

      Err... We all pay them to do it, every time we press F5. The adverts!!!!

    2. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

      Re: This must be why

      > Every prominent climate agency and scientific academy is skeptical about global

      > warming. Oh wait, none of them are. They all publicly endorse the notion of climate

      > change and of it being man made.

      Absolutely not. And the very well-publicized fraction who does endorse it is worried about the extent to which they are teleguided by external interests (see the leaked emails from East Anglia). They might be right, or they might be wrong (but the data strongly suggests that solar activity may very well be the major factor there, with CO2 _following_ due to it's lesser solubility in warmer ocean water - by far it's biggest reservoir. Not that we should not watch our energy use and waste generation of course. That's another matter. That's science and it can be discussed. The topic of this article is not science, it's indoctrination).

      My point is, the idea of a "scientific consensus" on that matter has been invented by crooks for consumption by science-illiterate idiots.

      And I _am_ a filthy commie.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This must be why

        @Pierre: Just stating what you believe doesn't make it true.

        1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

          Re: This must be why

          That is not what I believe. The fact that only the man -> CO2 -> apocalypse fraction is the only one you hear in the media doesn't mean that it is the consensus in the scientific community. The fact that their concerns about the extent of political pressure they feel is only revealed when private emails are leaked doesn't make it less true either.

          If you read a bit of the litterature (I mean the real one, not the politico-economic propaganda by one side or the other) you will see that there is in fact no consensus, and that the man-made CO2 hypothesis consistently fails to deliver in terms of fitting real-world data (it fits reasonnably well /a posteriory/ but that's easy, it's just some fiddling with the model's parameters; predictions on the other hand consistently failed to materialize). Which doesn't necessarily means that it's wrong, by the way.

          Climate science is not an easy thing, especially as we have a very flimsy handle -at best- on the ins and outs of it. People babbling about "scientific consensus" on that issue are either crooks or morons.

      2. DrXym Silver badge

        Re: This must be why

        @pierre, Wikipedia provides this useful list of specific endorsements by leading scientific institutions:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change#Statements_by_concurring_organizations

        That endorsement easily qualifies as scientific consensus, representing the informed opinion of the members of those institutions. Consensus does not mean every last scientist in the world, including the cranks concur with an opinion. Consense requires that the large majority do and that is clearly the case.

        Of course if you consider it to be a "fraction", provide a list of institutions of equal scientific standing who dissent.

        Now I don't know about you, but if 98 doctors said my son was dying and needed urgent treatment and 2 said to wait and see or denied the illness outright I'd sure as hell know who I'd believe. The question is why when the question is applied to climate change that people choose the other option.

        1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

          Re: This must be why

          > Wikipedia provides this useful list of specific endorsements by leading scientific institutions:

          Yeah, Wikipedia, right? I must fold then. My PhD, 5 years of post-doc and 1 year in an academic position in a major uni can't possibly match your overwhelming evidence. It's not like I've been trained to analyse data and litterature for more than 15 years, solid, including nights and week-ends, is it? (and don't even start talking about holidays. I've heard some people take them).

          > Now I don't know about you, but if 98 doctors said my son was dying and needed urgent treatment and 2 said to wait and see or denied the illness outright I'd sure as hell know who I'd believe.

          www. whatthefuckareyouramblingabout.swf.

  35. Richard 81

    Amazing...

    Movable type!

    We must keep these from the surfs. They might start getting ideas.

    1. TheRealRoland
      Headmaster

      Re: Amazing...

      >keep them from the surfs!

      I agree, never trust those Californians!

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Came expecting the usual reg-hates-climate-science spin,

    was not disapointed

    also got an aded bonus of sociologists-pretending-they-do-real-science

    11/10

  37. Alan Brown Silver badge

    In other news

    "Sea levels resume rising and falling after mysterious 9000-year hiatus"

    "Populations (again) forced to migrate due to climate pressure"

    Until 100-200 years ago, migration didn't overly matter - and while everyone's making panic statements about it, bear in mind the following things

    1: UK population has only increased 10-15% since 1970. The world's population has more than doubled in that time.

    2: More people have moved from the north of england to the southeast of england than from all the migrants from outside the country combined. Blaming external migrants for crowding is simply choosing the easiest minority to pick on.

    3: For every X permanent migrants in, there are Y permanent migrants out. Getting tough on migration may mean having to take a lot of expats back (The number of british illegals in Australia/NZ alone is something around the 150k mark. It's a lot higher in USA/Canada and higher still in SE Asia.)

    Settlements have been abandoned for climate-related reasons along all of history (and prehistory). Sooner or later the USA is going to realise that it's not worth trying to keep new Orleans Dry and let the swamps retake it, just as there are a number of old villages which used to be marked on middle ages UK maps as "lost to the sea".

    The _real_ problem is the increasingly high barriers being placed to migration in the name of "national identity" and "economic security". It's arguable that migrants are necessary for the long-term economic health of any country on the basis that you have to have a fair amount of motivation for betterment to make the journey and that motivation doesn't stop when the journey does. the only people benefitting from the current situation are criminals.

    (As for climate: humans will survive and adapt. They always do. Countries/economies may not. That's not to say there isn't a problem, but it's not armageddon. Even the climate experts agree on that one.)

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: In other news

      You speak too much sense to be commenting here.

  38. conel
    Angel

    Assumptions

    The problem with the discussion here is that the study made some assumptions. Whether or not the're correct can be debated but the position of the authors is that it's correct to have a high level of perceived risk about climate change. They knew going into the study that the level of perceived risk in the population is lower than they considered correct. In order to explain this they considered two hypotheses. One that people were too scientifically illiterate to appreciate the risk and secondly that people's ability to perceive risk is biased by their social environment (peers don't believe it so it's best if they don't either). The first hypothesis was proved incorrect and the second one correct.

    It would have been interesting if as a control they considered the belief in god or evolution instead of just risk associated with nuclear, although that is a bit different to perceived risk... Maybe risk of eternal damnation then?

  39. Cubical Drone

    For your consideration Mr. Page

    Mr. Page,

    While I have only read some of your articles, I feel like I have read them all and because of you, I now realize that the whole idea of climate change is based on bad science and the rants of tin foil wearing tree huggers. Thank you, I can now buy that SUV I have my eyes on, leave all my lights on 24/7 and burn pools of oil in my back yard without fear of global consequence.

    I would greatly appreciate it if you could now tackle another thing that makes me feel bad. You see, I am a smoker and constantly feel bad about myself for not quitting. If you could do a series of articles debunking the whole smoking is bad for you thing that would be great. I believe that there are studies from the 50’s and 60’s that say that smoking is actually good for you, so if you just republish and expand on those, that should be a good start.

    Thanks in advance for your attention to this.

  40. Some Beggar
    Holmes

    I've no idea which paper Lewis read

    but the one I just read simply concludes that peer pressure and political bias are by far the strongest influences on people's attitudes to subjects in which they have no personal expertise.

    You could argue "no shit, sherlock".

    Or you could argue ... whatever it is that this article is wittering about.

  41. kirovs
    Facepalm

    Plane crash

    What people often failed to see is that we have a fatal crisis in the making. It may be 50 years down the road, but we will not be able just to turn around when we finally see it coming (or the 50% percent brain dead right wing ideologues).

    So we should ask ourselves-what are the chance the scientific community is right? 50%? 30%? 10%?

    Would you let your kid take a plane, knowing there is a 10% chance this airplane will crash?

    How does this coal and oil now smell to you?

    1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

      Re: Plane crash

      > So we should ask ourselves-what are the chance the scientific community is right? 50%? 30%? 10%?

      I think the point is that the scientific community does not say what you think it does.

      1. kirovs

        Re: Plane crash

        Ummm, you are wrong.

        1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

          Re: Plane crash

          > Ummm, you are wrong.

          Am I?

          1. kirovs

            Re: Plane crash

            Yes.

            1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

              Re: Plane crash

              You sure?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Plane crash

                I am - you're the one making the claims that require the most testing - that is the planet isn't in trouble, where 90%+ of scientists* in the field believe it is, so you prove your point, maybe citing a single source would be a start.

                (*Number deliberately understated.)

                1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

                  Re: Plane crash

                  No, I am not making any claim. I am just a bit surprised that the scientific community as a whole has predicted the end of the world in 50 years. Which was the claim I answered to.

                  And which I know for a fact to be wrong, despite your and the OP's claims to the contrary.

                  and that 90% is not understated: it's pulled out of an ignorant's ass whose culture on the matter consists entirely of mass-media sensationalist claim (and perhaps a bit of Greenpeace spice on top).

                  As for sources for the lack of consensus I am pretty damn sure that all you have is spin from the IPCC and Greenpeace so I am just going to point you towards PubMed* and let you do your homework. Focus on papers that try to describe or explain climate variations, not the ones that make a passing mention of climate variation.

                  As for sources for the "man-made CO2-caused global warming is not going to wipe humanity in 50 years", well I'm trying hard not to laugh, I don't think that even needs sources. Even the whoriest attention whore in the field or the looniest loony in the surrounding loony bin never dared to pretend that. Which is why I repeatedly asked...

                  *http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?db=pubmed

                  1. kirovs
                    Paris Hilton

                    Re: Plane crash

                    No one predicted the end of the world. Just the death of significant piece of the mankind as more areas become uninhabitable and wars are waged over scarce resources. I am sure you have your own definition of significant. Yes, I forgot, we have the A-bombs. I guess A stands for asshole... Never mind.

                    Here is one of the first I pulled up:

                    Nature 453, 84-88 (1 May 2008).

                    Then this:

                    Nature 453, 353-357 (15 May 2008)

                    Of course Nature publishes sensationalist stuff mainly, right?

                    Oh, here is another sensationalist one:PNAS December 22, 2009 vol. 106. PNAS is well known for its sensationalism too.

                    The icon is chosen because of your IQ. Spin from IPCC, good god. I am sure we can rely on your competent opinion... Go to a party or something Pierre. Somewhere where you have some credibility.

                    1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

                      Re: Plane crash

                      > No one predicted the end of the world. Just the death of significant piece of the mankind as more areas become uninhabitable and wars are waged over scarce resources.

                      Heh. Hehehe hehehe hehehe. snirf sorry. We have a channel called Z-Tele here, you might want to go ahead and submit a script.

                      > Nature 453, 84-88 (1 May 2008). Then this: Nature 453, 353-357 (15 May 2008) Of course

                      > Nature publishes sensationalist stuff mainly, right?

                      I fail to see the 50-years deadline in any of these articles. Actually I fail to see any definitive conclusion on anything expect from speculations based on previous predictions. Which failed to materialize. But again, I have access to the full text, maybe you don't? (although these are opinion letters, not research articles; these opinion ultra-short pieces devoid of data are often available even to the lowly heathen such as you...)

                      Nature does publish what sells. And these opinion pieces were reasonnably believable 4 years ago when they were published. I remember some 20 years ago Nature published a couple articles on the memory of water, all of which were withdrawn within a couple of month. And these were real articles with real data, not 15-lines opinion pieces.

                      Of course this is superfluous because again, there is nothing in these opinion pieces that supports your claims.

                      Now where is the data?

                      The PNAS paper does not support your claims, even remotely. (my contempt for PNAS notwithstanding).

                      Perhaps you should, like _read_ the papers you point to?

                      No icon.

                      1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

                        Re: Plane crash

                        > No one predicted the end of the world. Just the death of significant piece of the mankind as more areas become uninhabitable and wars are waged over scarce resources.

                        Just a quick note because I suspect that the irony factor might very well have been lost on you.

                        Why exactly do you think that the mighty USA went and annexed Irak, the very country in the world where oil is the cheapest to extract? Why did Saddam Hussein, former BFF with the USA, suddently became The Ennemy? Even thought Iraq was a laic state? In which Bin Laden and co were /persona non grata/?

                        That war you speak of started long ago.

                        And CO2 limitations are a part of it.

                      2. kirovs

                        Re: Plane crash

                        Find me a journal worthy of you. Or a publication. You said do a search and I did. Now of course those journals are not good for you.

                        Perhaps your search is restricted to AmercasPower publications.

                        Or you are just a troll.

                        BTW, PNAS estimates are for 1m sea level rise by the end of 2100.

                        1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge
                          Paris Hilton

                          Re: Plane crash

                          > PNAS estimates are [...]

                          I don't think you understand the concept of "scientific publication"

                          PNAS does not estimate anything, PNAS publishes stuff from external research groups.

                          PNAS also have a very convenient system where members can "fast-track" 2 papers per year without proper pear review (hence my stated contempt). In that case there's a disclaimer, but who checks that? Check their policies if you don't believe me. That's publicaly available material, everyone in the community knows that. Of course, armchair scientists might be oblivious of the fact.

                          The other references you cited are 15-lines opinion pieces, not proper scientific reports.

                          You claim you did some research, yet your posts show otherwise.

                          Back under the bridge you go.

          2. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

            Re: Plane crash

            So to date that's 4 thumbs down. 4 persons who honestly believe that the "scientific community" as a whole predicts that man-made carbon emission will wipe out the human race in 50 years.

            Because that is the very assumption in the post I answer to.

            We are well and truly doomed. Not by carbon emissions but by rampant stupidity.

  42. AnonymousNow

    It is not profitable to think about global warming so we don't

    For those who still do not understand America, the title to this post will give you a clue.

    We have serious cultural issues that have been driven by the economics of the 1%. The corrupt MSM is the glue that cements it together and makes the insane normal.

    1. P. Lee Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: It is not profitable to think about global warming so we don't

      Profitable for whom?

      Scientists are finding it very profitable.

      Alternative fuel providers find it profitable too. As are the tile-providers to that shopping centre. All those yummy subsidies.

      Demand for oil is inelastic, so not much harm done to the oil providers, though they've always had a bit of an image issue. Nobody really likes heavy-industry dirt. With the bad PR from Japan, the main alternative to oil has been neutralised.

      The politicians find it rather profitable, with the "we'll save you! (no really, the taxes are for the environment's sake)" message.

      The only people it doesn't benefit are those inefficiently using energy, who will be castigated for it. People don't like being told they are doing something wrong.

      In fact, there aren't that many reasons not to like AGW, without going anywhere near the science. That concerns me, because it means the science doesn't matter and wouldn't change what is going on.

      The term "scientific consensus" disturbs me. The phrase calls on the reputation of the scientists rather than the science. It skims over the facts and says, you need to trust your social betters.

      It appears to imply that "all scientists, whether or not they are involved in AGW research believe in AGW, so you had better shut up." It appears to be newly coined and new phrases like that I pop in the "Registered Trademark" bin until they have stood the test of time.

      I'm happy to accept that AGW might be real, but the hard research appears to be rather thin. Its more of a collective feeling, a "consensus" rather than a well researched phenomenon. That's fine, just tell me that you don't have much data and the research is on-going. "The sky is falling, give us your billions," undermines your credibility.

      1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

        Re: It is not profitable to think about global warming so we don't

        > The term "scientific consensus" disturbs me

        As it should. There is no consensus, far from it. It is a hotly (if I may) debated subject. As it should damn well be.

        Special interest groups are trying to snuff the debate to preserve their funding sources but as you point out later in your post the evidence is indeed rather thin. And some of it has been proved to be outright fraud (North Pole ice and Hymalayan ice are melting indeed. Or not? Not.).

        The scientific community (to use the buzzword) is not even sure where to measure the supposed effects of global warming. Different layers of the athmosphere react differently. and the widely-used measures along the north-eastern coast of Canada have recently been shown to be compensated or even out-compensated by variations on the western side (between Russia and Canada), a part of the globe that had not been probed before.

        We do no know precisely how much energy came in (These solar flares are a bitch to quantify retroactively), we certainly do not know for sure how much energy is absorbed or sent back for the Greenhouse effect to deal with (albedo varies greatly from year to year, and from region to region), we certainly lack understanding on the buffering effect of the biosphere (right now with ~0.04% of CO2 in the biosphere, plants are positively starving. Believe it or not, the current low CO2 availability is the limiting factor for plant biosynthesis).

        And I could go on.

        I am all for reducing energy consumption and waste production. It just makes sense. But the doomsday scenarios are so out of touch with the reality that it's risible. Or it would be, if they were not the basis for schemes like the CO2 credit scam which has only one aim: ensuring that "developping" countries stay underdevelopped.

        Oh, and by the way, about the "guilt" argument that many posters here seem to swallow hook, line and sinker: domestic CO2 production is in the low single-digit percentage, even in the US. You guys are tricked into cutting your personal "carbon footprint" so that you feel entitled when geopolitical decisions are made, aimed at choking developpement in 3rd-world coutries. The Man you think you are fighting, is playing you for fools.

  43. compdoc

    Why all these dumb articles about how safe we are?

    Everything is fine. Mankind in his multitudes has no effect on the planet. Its OK to pollute and wipe out species after species. Go ahead and burn your trash and fossil fuels, and cut down the forests. Its fine to pump chemicals from lawns & farms, and human hormones and medicines into the sea. Don't notice the humans killing each other over resources around the world. Those people being washed away in massive floods, and land being swallowed by the sea are nothing to worry about. Everything is fine.

    1. Robinson
      Unhappy

      Re: Why all these dumb articles about how safe we are?

      "...Don't notice the humans killing each other over resources around the world. Those people being washed away in massive floods, and land being swallowed by the sea are nothing to worry about. Everything is fine."

      This is called argumentum ad neurosis. I'm thinking a trip to see your GP would be a good idea.

  44. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

    "Tell them lies...

    ... it's for their own good".

    Not much of a change if you ask me.

  45. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Boffin

    I'm a skeptic

    And proud of it*

    But since global temps are going up (give or take the odd data error here) and the temperature rise is caused by humans adding CO2 to the air (according to the greens) then we need a way to reduce CO2 emissions while maintaining our lifestyle.

    Hint: Nobody is going to vote for a politician who says "Turn off your A/C and central heating, get rid of your washing machine and dishwasher, and buy a smaller battery powered car"

    So .. a major source of CO2 emission is electricty generation, nuclear puts out no CO2, therefore let us change to 90% nuke generation over the next 10 years and reduce emissions that way, except the greens hate nuclear more than CO2

    But then you have to sell the idea of nuclear to a public thats been brought up on the belief that everything radioactive will instantly give you 2 heads and mutate your kids into hideous monsters (BTW that happens naturally at about age 13 anyway).

    The trick-cyclists should be finding ways to increase the public's education level so that they can understand the science being put forward regarding global warning and be able to tell the difference between the science and the emotional BS pumped out by the so called 'green' movement. Drowning puppies anyone?

    *Note, I'll be in the re-education camp with the rest of the skeptics soon

  46. Frederic Bloggs
    Facepalm

    Missed the real point

    The more scientifically and numerically literate one is, the more one can see just how ignorant and generally bereft of ideas or principles both the press and their bosom pals the politicians are. Hence all the fuss about pasties and static caravans.

  47. Albert Stienstra

    Circular viscerality

    The main point of Page’s article is that the more you know about science, the less worried you are about climate change, according to a group of letter-writers to Nature. The letter-writers also assert it is harmful to collective welfare to form such individual risk perceptions in aggregate. This can only mean that the letter-writers somehow “know” that a low risk perception of climate change is [absolutely] wrong. How do they know that?

    They then go on to say that ways should be found to make the public accept the best available [climate change] science. This can only mean that the letter-writers know what is the best available science. How can they know this? Looking at their affiliations, not one of them has any grasp of physics.

    In view of the above it is almost certain that the letter-writers belong to the group of egalitarian communitarians, as defined in their letter to Nature. This group is supposed to be more concerned with climate change risks and since the letter-writers have no grasp of physics they have acquired their beliefs from their climate science peers using system 1 reasoning, involving rapid visceral judgements and heuristics. Hence they can believe that climate change is highly dangerous and they can “know” which is the best climate science.

    Fortunately, this type of circularity is not likely to be very effective, nor is their type of science.

  48. Beachrider

    The Reg's interpretation is getting intermixed with the original intent....

    This is an important discussion. There is some climate change going on. We are mainly interested in the impact of the change and what we can do to survive.

    - If you are sure that there is NO climate change, then we probably cannot convince you here

    - Mankind's ability to turn-back the climate change by decreasing CO2 can be discussed, unless you don't believe in climate change at all.

    - The impact of non-human causes is very substantial e.g. (USGS studies on Methane increases from the Ocean floor)

    - The whole model isn't simple. Carbon-loading of the atmosphere and oceans has many possible causes and affects.

    - From a Geological perspective, history tells us that we are still coming out of an Ice Age.

    - Space/Mars probes indicate that the Sun is entering a warming phase, too.

    We really don't know how-much Mankind's CO2 generation feeds the whole process. It isn't zero, but there are some VERY LARGE components that are not associated with anthropological causes.

    It clearly helps us to manage our Carbon footprint. It might not be justifiable to levy taxes based on minor-changes, though.

    This IS about science, but the one-dimensional (liberal-conservative) analysis method is sufficient to render high impact judgements.

    1. Beachrider

      Re: The Reg's interpretation is getting intermixed with the original intent....

      INSUFFICIENT

    2. indulis

      Re: The Reg's interpretation is getting intermixed with the original intent....

      "We really don't know how-much Mankind's CO2 generation feeds the whole process. It isn't zero, but there are some VERY LARGE components that are not associated with anthropological causes."

      If you want one-dimensional analysis try the bunkum like "the climate stopped cooling ten years ago" which ignores La Nina etc (search for "Going Down the Up Escalator" ), and many other oft-repeated simplistic and invalid "proofs".

      Instead of the "VERY LARGE" components you claim, the best science that is available says that NONE of the components which can make the climate warm account for the large changes that we see, in a very short amount of time i.e. the changes we are seeing are happening too fast for it to be ice age changes or orbital changes

      As for your other statements- more/better satellites in orbit around the Earth measuring solar radiation hitting the earth say the sun is getting cooler- Mars climate changes are for other reasons, no evidence at ALL that solar incidence has gone up on Mars or other planets. Methane in the oceans is currently trapped and not venting, no USGS study says it is causing climate change. This is, not yet, but if we warm the oceans enough and melt some more icecaps by continuing with CO2 releases we just might be able to make the trapped methane release (that's positive feedback folks and not in a positive=good sense, see Arctic Climate Emergency).

      The whole IPCC report (please read!) is about a summary using multi-dimensional analysis, multiple lines of evidence, and the work which has been done across many different science disciplines to tease apart the different factors affecting climate now.

      1. Beachrider

        Re: The Reg's interpretation is getting intermixed with the original intent....

        As I said:

        - One dimensional analysis is insufficient, we appear to agree but I am not sure

        - People that don't believe in ANY climate change cannot be convinced of it in this discussion

        - The USGS doesn't know if the methane is venting or not, you made that up

        - I don't know what satellites your Solar-cooldown info, comes from. The heatup comes from Geological evidence AFAIK

        - Phoenix shows that Mars is warming up. MAVEN is supposed to explore WHY. I don't know where you got the info that all of this is false, already.

        - Methane is UP 2.6% since 1998. That is NOT in dispute. Methane is >50x as potent as CO2 in generating the greenhouse effect.

        - The multidimensional discussion is a point of agreement. My focus was that anthropomorphism through CO2 emissions ONLY was waaaay toooo narrow.

        I hope that helps...

  49. Will196

    Leading Them Along

    That’s right: Cultivate support though misinformation. After all, an uninformed, better yet misinformed, public is a lucrative public.

    Those who still think (apparently still in the majority) no longer buy the cataclysmic claims - for good reason. Global temperature hasn’t increased since the 1990s, even though CO2 has continued to increase.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203646004577213244084429540.html?KEYWORDS=climate+scientists+panic

    And now it seems that even rising CO2 may not be connected to humans.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/19/what-you-mean-we-arent-controlling-the-climate/

    Confronted with reality, even a major figure behind those claims has been forced to concede the obvious.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2134092/Gaia-scientist-James-Lovelock-I-alarmist-climate-change.html

    At least he’s still thinking.

    1. kirovs
      Flame

      Re: Leading Them Along

      Wall Street Journal? wattsupwiththat web site? This is some really serious science man! Radical! Thanks for sharing! What are you smoking by the way?

      And if you actually read what James Lovelock said you will see he is not rejecting the idea of global warming. He said that he extrapolated too far.

      The problem here buster is not that he could be wrong. The problem is he could be right. Maybe 50 years later. Well, if you don't give a shit about your offspring I guess you should not care...

  50. bigphil9009

    Hmmm

    Let's see:

    "Trick-cyclist" count = 4

    "soft scientist" count = 2

    "soft-studies" count = 3

    Lewis is like a small child who has discovered a new word, or someone who once got a laugh out of something he said and is trying to regain the acceptance that that laugh once gave him. Sad really.

  51. Doug Bostrom

    Reg credibility plunges again

    I'm left wondering if the article I just read here concerning a solid-state disk array is reliable. In that domain, I can't judge, I'm looking to El Reg for help. On the other hand, those of us who are familiar with the article described by Mr. Page know that his account is economical with the truth.

    So, is anything I read at El Reg useful? How are we supposed to know?

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    Well, duh

    I get the impression from the Nature article that...

    1. If you have a strong science background and "belief" in climate change that you can use your knowledge of science to justify your position

    2. If you have a strong science background and no "belief" in climate change that you can use your knowledge of science to justify your position

    I mean really, isn't this just a bit obvious? Personal bias and scientific method have nothing to do with one another. There are plenty of biologists who don't believe in evolution.

  53. johnwerneken
    Holmes

    If it's "tricking" people to get then to change their minds 100% with no change in the facts, then let me tell you its very easy. Politicians, Priests, Magicians, and Hookers have all been doing it for at least 7,000 years. Just frame the issue a different way. On Climate for example, I bet 75% of the "skeptics" would hop to support a massive program addressing climate change, if it were done through a somewhat possible-seeming project to supply us all with plentiful low-cost energy. Note that the climate is risks largely because we seem to need that low cost energy...so I submit it is being practical, rather than sneaky, to propose such a reframe.

    Anyway I have been obtaining consensus for what I want for 50 years using that simple technique.

  54. GrantB
    Boffin

    "By Lewis Page"

    Haven't read the comments, but read enough of the article to see the entire point flying by Lewis's head. <sigh>

    If Lewis actually spent a few minutes trying to understand why he is wrong - even read some comments, then fine. For now, I won't bother reading any more.

  55. Qu Dawei
    Headmaster

    Stupidity

    ... is repeating errors, time and time again after having them pointed out. "Trick cyclists" refers to psychiatrists (a branch of medicine dealinng with abnormal psychology from a medical pint of view), not to psychologists or sociologists. I and others have pinted this out a number of times before. Until the author of this "article" stops making such elementary errors of using the wrong ter]ms, how can we be sure that the other facts are in any way correct (ignoring the point about it seeming as if it contains a cut-and-paste job from Fox news)?

  56. raving angry loony

    Saw title.

    Figured "either Page or Orlowski".

    Wasn't disappointed.

    Ignored.

    If I want propaganda, there's better sources. I find the shrill tone of those two annoying.

    There's "contrarian", then there's propaganda. One looks at all the evidence. The other only looks at evidence that suits their agenda, regardless of the source. I class L&O in the latter category.

    At this point, I don't even care if Lewis and Orlowski are correct - they're just too fucking annoying to read any more.

  57. Herby Silver badge

    Be careful for what you ask for...

    ...you may just get it.

    Oh, scientific report requested on Global Warming? Here it is, but not what you expected.

    It seems that politicians do this quite often. Ask for recommendations from well meaning people, and then refuse to implement them for some reason. It works the other was as well. Implement something without ANY recommendations from well respected people.

    Never mind...

    P.S. there is a whole comic strip devoted to this and IT (Dilbert).

  58. Scott 19
    Devil

    Hey Lewis

    Do you notice that alot of people that comment on your articles have no idea about IT and just seem to come here and rant about consensus?

    I'd ask my usual TCP/IP question but they never seem to know the answer.

    I'm collecting red arrows this week please oblige Soros lovers.

  59. Madboater

    The arguments are just presented wrong

    And people who can think for themselves when presented with evidence are a little more sceptical. What a surprise.

    To date the argument has gone;

    We can prove climate change is happening, so you must all stop driving, or polar bears will lose their habitat.

    The problem with this is the evidence given doesn't support the action they want us to take, and the result of not taking the action doesn't effect us that much.

    To get people to realise the arguments need to be presented with the evidence as;

    1, Climate Change is Happening

    2, We are accelerating it un-naturally by our use of fuels etc

    3, The impacts of Climate change are going to be...

    4, These impacts are going to directly effect us by...

    As far as I have seen the only #1 has been proven. We have a fair idea of #3. However if we can do #4 then #2 may be irrelevant, as we should then be working to adapt to climate change and while we are at it, adapt to reduce our impact on it to.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I agree climate change is happening, but I do not worry about it.

    Why? because there is always climate change, the fact we may have a small effect on the climate has to just be accepted as a product of our industrialization, so rather than cry about it and live as cave men again, lets just find industrial solutions to the problems.

    Go nuclear, fission in the short term, fusion long term.

    Plant more crops/trees, suck up that CO2

    If we need to cool the planet, put up a few solar shades.

    All three are perfectly doable and non harmful (fission produces minimal waste, reprocessing recovers fuel, and IF we worked on it, the remaining radioactive sludge/debris would be usable in some kind of massive nuclear battery as anything radioactive is emitting alpha/beta/gamma radiation, that generates heat, so use it in an RTG).

  61. PeterM42
    Facepalm

    Just shows that politicians are stupid

    .....those "with higher levels of scientific and mathematical knowledge are more sceptical regarding the dangers of climate change than their more poorly educated fellow citizens."

    But if you are a stupid politician, you will believe anything - including "global warming" which has long since been disproved to be caused (if it exists at all) by human beings.

  62. Tim Almond
    FAIL

    Effects...

    The important word here is "effects". Look at the climate change ad that was shown, with footage of puppies drowning in water, as though our whole world is going to dramatically change into something out of a Roland Emmerich movie if we leave our TVs on standby.

    Assuming the science is right (and I don't believe that the models have reached a sufficient level of accuracy, considering how close the temperature is to the margins of being "statistically significant"), we're looking at a problem that will still be smaller than malaria. Not that you'd get that impression from how much coverage climate change gets.

  63. deadfamous
    Boffin

    Soylent Green

    So simply make sure your population is ignorant of the scientific realities of carbon, the carbon cycle, the nitrogen cycle and the water cycle - then you can recycle and follow environmentally sound policies no matter how distasteful or immoral the solution.

  64. Eddie Edwards
    Paris Hilton

    El Headline

    El headline summarizes this research differently than most other reports.

    And yet, if you know more science than Lewis Page, you're probably more worried about climate change than he is. El Reg's position on this is political, not scientific. And this political position informs the way they pick and choose which evidence to report.

    Which is EXACTLY how everyone else is reporting this story - that your belief on climate change typically depends on your politics, and not on your level of scientific literacy.

    But any El Reg reader realized this a long time ago, at least as it applies to journalists. The fact that Page pretends he's smart enough to reinterpret the paper using a magically privileged viewpoint ("this is what the scientists are *really* trying to do") underlines this point quite nicely. To Page, not only is it a political issue, but everyone involved has purely political motivations. One sees the world through one's own eyes, after all.

  65. energonic

    Obvious

    Perhaps the most likely reason why more education results in more scepticism is that the figures are all open to interpretation. What degree of certainty can anyone put on a global warming prediction some years in advance of it happening? This is the realm of probability and it is notoriously hard to get right.

  66. cityeyrie

    A lot of human activity threatens humans, not just climate change

    As usual this is treated as a 'we got the message wrong' problem as opposed to honouring people's possible good sense. What were people actually asked? I am not in the business of denying that human induced climate change is happening, but as an 'egalitarian communitarian' American 'with higher levels of scientific and mathematical knowledge' than the majority I must say I that the whole climate change hoopla has distracted us from the overt, measurable and directly human-caused problem of pollution, which relies on no model projections in the future but which can be seen killing people or otherwise impacting on their lives right now. Whatever the cause, as the climate changes people can adapt to it, as they have over the millenia. Pollution, however, of our air, water and food seems to have been forgotten in the drive to install a corrupt carbon credit scheme and in the debate over green tech. I am not particularly sceptical about whether climate change is happening, but question its importance as a threat compared to the many more direct ways humans are making the planet uninhabitable for themselves.

  67. Who Is John Galt?
    Facepalm

    Ah, so the best course of action is for the dumb people to tell the smart people how wrong they are

    Soooo.....

    Smart, educated people who understand science have doubts about the science behind the conclusion, while people who are ignorant about science agree with the conclusion unflinchingly?

    And the response to this is to try to convince the smart, science-understanding people that they're wrong and that the "egalitarian" science-ignorant people are right? About SCIENCE?

    This sounds like the people on Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares who argue with Ramsey -- who has been awarded THIRTEEN Michelin Stars -- and tell him he doesn't know anything about cooking and they know better (as they continue to fail due to poor cooking). Maybe there should be a new version of the show where "egalitarian" failing cooks undertake massive campaigns to change Gordon Ramsey's mind about how poor their food is.

    The longer I live, the more I find myself scratching my head at the immense foolishness of the human race.

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