Tag Archives | Climate Denial

Why Republicans Keep Telling Everyone They’re Not Scientists

Florida Governor Rick Scott 1

Gov. Rick Scott

Hint: “I’m not a scientist” = “I don’t want to talk about that.” Coral Davenport investigates the new Republican mantra for the New York Times:

Gov. Rick Scott of Florida, a Republican who is fighting a Democratic challenge from former Gov. Charlie Crist, was asked by The Miami Herald if he believes climate change is significantly affecting the weather. “Well, I’m not a scientist,” he said.

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who is locked in a tight re-election race, was asked this month by The Cincinnati Enquirer if he believes that climate change is a problem. “I’m not a scientist,” he said.

House Speaker John A. Boehner, when asked by reporters if climate change will play a role in the Republican agenda, came up with a now-familiar formulation. “I’m not qualified to debate the science over climate change,” he said.

“I’m not a scientist,” or a close variation, has become the go-to talking point for Republicans questioned about climate change in the 2014 campaigns.

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If You Love this Planet, “Coal Rollers” Hate You

Coal Rolling:

Peter Sinclair writes at Climate Denial Crock of the Week:

Napoleon famously said, “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”  I normally would like to assume that others who do not share my views are still people who have a legitimate set of values, and may just be misinformed. But harsh experience teaches, we can’t automatically assume that everyone cares about the natural world, the planet we leave to our children, or the creatures with whom we share it.

It’s obligatory for climate denial shills to preface anti-environment rants with “of course we all want clean air and pure water, but…”

Anyone that’s followed the litany of anti-environment initiatives and rhetoric by the current crop of non-conserving “conservatives”, or listened to Rush Limbaugh’s hatred and venom toward the natural world, might understandably be skeptical.

Now there’s this.

Business Insider:

Pickup trucks customized to spew black smoke into the air are quickly becoming the newest weapon in the culture wars.

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The Greedy Lying Bastards’ Favorite ‘Global Cooling’ Story

It turns out that the unwitting hero of the climate change deniers (a/k/a Greedy Lying Bastards) is one Peter Gwynne. Who, you may well ask? Daily Climate via Scientific American tells his story:

Temperatures have plunged to record lows on the East Coast, and once again Peter Gwynne is being heralded as a journalist ahead of his time. By some.

Gwynne was the science editor of Newsweek 39 years ago when he pulled together some interviews from scientists and wrote a nine-paragraph story about how the planet was getting cooler.

newsweek global cooling

Ever since, Gwynne’s “global cooling” story – and a similar Time Magazine piece – have been brandished gleefully by those who say it shows global warming is not happening, or at least that scientists – and often journalists – don’t know what they are talking about.

Fox News loves to cite it. So does Rush Limbaugh. Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., has quoted the story on the Senate floor.

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Stephen Schneider Takes on a Roomful of Climate Change Deniers

Stephen Schneider was Professor of Environmental Biology and Global Change at Stanford University, a Co-Director at the Center for Environment Science and Policy of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and a Senior Fellow in the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. Schneider served as a consultant to federal agencies and White House staff under several American presidential  administrations. In other words, an expert on climate change. Watch as he answers the questions of a room full of climate change deniers on the SBS Insight show. Keep in mind this was aired in 2010.

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Why American Conservatives Don’t Trust Science

Tea Party vs RealityGiven the mess that the farthest right wing of the American Republican party is causing in Washington right now, this study might not come as too much of a surprise, but researchers Stephan Lewandowsky, Gilles E. Gignac and Klaus Oberauer find that American conservatives have become increasingly skeptical of science since the 1970s, publishing their study, “The Role of Conspiracist Ideation and Worldviews in Predicting Rejection of Science,” in PLOSone. This is the abstract:

Background

Among American Conservatives, but not Liberals, trust in science has been declining since the 1970’s. Climate science has become particularly polarized, with Conservatives being more likely than Liberals to reject the notion that greenhouse gas emissions are warming the globe. Conversely, opposition to genetically-modified (GM) foods and vaccinations is often ascribed to the political Left although reliable data are lacking. There are also growing indications that rejection of science is suffused by conspiracist ideation, that is the general tendency to endorse conspiracy theories including the specific beliefs that inconvenient scientific findings constitute a “hoax.”

Methodology/Principal findings

We conducted a propensity weighted internet-panel survey of the U.S.

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IPCC 95% Certain That Humans Are Dominant Cause Of Global Warming

So what will the Greedy Lying Bastards (that would be the climate change deniers) say about this? From BBC News:

A UN panel has released part one of its six-yearly update on the state of the Earth’s climate. The much-anticipated report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says that with 95% certainty, humans are the dominant cause of global warming since the 1950s. The BBC News website’s science editor Paul Rincon breaks down some of the document’s key findings.

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Part one of the IPCC’s fifth assessment report (AR5) on the Earth’s climate opens with the message that we are seeing changes in the climate system unprecedented in records spanning hundreds of years.

With this scene-setting out of the way, the report says the period from 1983-2012 in the Northern Hemisphere was likely the warmest 30-year period of the last 1,400 years. Each of the last three decades has got successively warmer, and these decades have all been warmer than any of the preceding decades since 1850.

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Climate Panel Claims ‘Near Certainty’ of Man-Made Global Warming

The results are in and they aren’t good, for anyone, climate deniers especially. The New York Times reports on the IPCC‘s dour assessment of climate change:

An international panel of scientists has found with near certainty that human activity is the cause of most of the temperature increases of recent decades, and warns that sea levels could conceivably rise by more than three feet by the end of the century if emissions continue at a runaway pace.

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The scientists, whose findings are reported in a draft summary of the next big United Nations climate report, largely dismiss a recent slowdown in the pace of warming, which is often cited by climate change doubters, attributing it most likely to short-term factors.

The report emphasizes that the basic facts about future climate change are more established than ever, justifying the rise in global concern. It also reiterates that the consequences of escalating emissions are likely to be profound.

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Unlocking the Conspiracy Mind-Set

Stephan Lewandowsky

Justin Gillis tries to unscramble the conspiracy culture surrounding climate change for the New York Times:

When I first met the NASA climate researcher Gavin Schmidt a few years ago, we discussed the proliferation of material on the Internet attacking mainstream climate science. I asked him whether he thought climate contrarians were flirting with conspiracy theory in their views.

“Flirting?” he said. “No. They’ve already had conspiracy theory out on a hot date, and now it’s the morning after and they’re sitting up in bed, having coffee.”

I happened to recall that conversation the other day as I read the latest chapter of a remarkable back-and-forth between mainstream researchers and climate contrarians.

It all started last year, when a social scientist named Stephan Lewandowsky, of the University of Western Australia, and two colleagues published a rather provocative paper. It was based on an anonymous Internet survey of the readers of climate blogs.

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