American Climate Denial: Frack Yeah!

Earther, the folks who reported that Gorebal Warming is deforming the seafloor have an interesting perspective of American exceptionalism.

SCIENCE

Climate Denial is a Form of American Exceptionalism

Brian Kahn

Yesterday 4:20pm Filed to: AMERICA F*** YEAH

An American flag in the Breezy Point neighborhood in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
Photo: Getty

America is already great, my friends, at least when it comes to climate denial.

New research published this week in Nature Climate Change shows the U.S. is without peers when it comes to denying the basic science of climate change. Scientists surveyed people in 25 countries around the world, and found there’s no country quite like the U.S, where climate denial is much more closely tied to one’s political persuasion than any other country.

The researchers say this is actually a good thing, because it means there’s nothing inherent in conservative ideology that causes people to reject science…

[…]

Earther – Frack Yeah, but he didn’t say frack.

The researchers say this is actually a good thing, because it means there’s nothing inherent in conservative ideology that causes people to reject science…

That’s right… Nothing inherent in conservative or libertarian ideology causes people to reject science… If It did, I wouldn’t be a geologist… And I’m guessing that Anthony wouldn’t be a meteorologist and that quite a few other scientists wouldn’t be scientists either.

And… What the frack does Hurricane Superstorm Franknestorm Post Tropical Cyclone Sandy have to do with climate change? [1][2]

Conservative/libertarian scientists simply reject “science” as it is defined by liberal social justice warriors.  From a previous post of mine

The ARS Technica article includes a graph from the paper:

diffclimate

“As scientific literacy goes up to the right, conservatives are equally likely to know what scientists have concluded and less likely to believe that themselves.”

Firstly, this does not demonstrate “a big gap between what scientists understand and what the public thinks it knows.”  The two panels in the graph comprise a non sequitur to that “big gap.”  The first panel has nothing to do with the supposed scientific consensus on climate change (Humans are responsible for more than half of the warming since 1950).  This is as bad as Doran & Kendall Zimmerman in its flawed logical reasoning.  Accepting the assertion that humans are primarily responsible for climate change does not follow from knowing that carbon dioxide is a so-called greenhouse gas.

As a professional geologist, I know the answer to the first question is “carbon dioxide” and the answer to the second question is “mostly because of natural patterns in the Earth’s environment.”  There is no logical requirement for the first answer to lead to “mostly because of human activity such as burning fossil fuels.”

Oddly enough, Doran & Kendall Zimmerman found that a majority of academic & government economic geologists agree with me (they only surveyed academic & government scientists.”

It should come as little surprise that geoscientists have consistently been far more likely to think that modern climate changes have been driven by overwhelmingly natural processes.  A survey of APEGA, the organization responsible for certifying and licensing professional geoscientists and engineers in Alberta, found that 64% of geoscientists rejected the so-called consensus for various reasons, with climate change being overwhelmingly natural leading the pack.

This study is very interesting because it analyzes the frames of reference (Kuhn’s “different worlds”) in which opinions are formed. Skeptical geologists are most likely to view climate change as overwhelmingly natural. Skeptical engineers are more likely to view it as a matter of economics or fatalism. The cost of decarbonization would far outweigh any benefits and/or would have no measurable effect on climate change.

None of which is ideologically driven, unless there are some unseen forces that drive conservatives into geology and/or engineering… Or something about geology and engineering that drives the practitioners towards conservatism and/or libertarianism.   I know that having real jobs, paying beaucoup taxes and having to cut through government red tape, just to do our jobs, certainly could be a motivating factor… The AAPG doesn’t conduct political surveys of its membership, but one company, Seismic Micro-Technology (SMT), did conduct an unscientific survey during the 2008 AAPG convention and found that, “geoscientists are a politically diverse group of people, with no disproportionate representation for any political party.”  They also found that 47% of respondents agreed “that human factors are primarily driving global warming.”  36% disagreed and 17% were undecided or unsure.  So, the AAPG members who visited SMT’s booth and took the survey probably skewed to the left a bit and SMT’s reporting of the survey seems a bit biased as well:

A minority (37%) of all respondents disagree that human factors are primarily
driving global warming – but political affiliation polarizes opinion

  • 57% of conservatives reject the consensus view, versus 27% of liberals.
  • Independents align with liberals – with only 30% rejecting the consensus view.
  • Political views are more telling here than age, as both Under 45 and Over 45 show pluralities believing in human causes.

A minority, 46%, agreed with the consensus.  54% did not agree with the consensus.  37% disagreed and 17% were unsure.

Putting the AGI, AAPG, APEGA surveys together reveals the following:

 

Climate change primarily driven by human activities
Reject Unsure Endorse
Doran & Kendall-Zimmerman AGI 53% 0% 47%
Lefsfrud & Meyer APEGA 40% 33% 27%
Seismic Micro-Technology AAPG 37% 17% 46%
Average 43% 17% 40%
Standard Deviation 9% 17% 11%
  • Reject so-called consensus 43% (±9%)
  • Unsure 17% (±17%)
  • Endorse so-called consensus 40% (±11%)

All three of these surveys were conducted in or around 2008.  Lefsfrud & Meyer was a 2013 reanalysis of a 2008 survey.

While ideology certainly appears to be a factor in scientifically literate disagreement with the so-called consensus, geoscientists clearly fall short of 97% in their endorsement of it.

Yet, Dr. Timmer (a molecular biologist and flaming liberal Democrat) dismisses scientifically literate rejection of the so called consensus with quips like, “a little knowledge is a problem” and “for those on the wrong side of an ideological divide, scientific knowledge hurts.”  It appears that he would prefer a scientifically illiterate society in which we would all just bow down to “science” and do what we’re told to do.

Conclusion

If scientifically literate conclusions regarding the causes of climate change are primarily driven by political ideology… The climate science is settled: It’s not science.

References

[1] Doran, Peter T.; Maggie Kendall Zimmerman (January 20, 2009). “Examining the Scientific Consensus on Climate Change” (PDF). EOS. 90 (3): 22–23.

[2] Drummond, Caitlin  and Baruch Fischhoff
Individuals with greater science literacy and education have more polarized beliefs on controversial science topics. PNAS 2017 ; published ahead of print August 21, 2017, doi:10.1073/pnas.1704882114

[3] Lefsrud, L. M.; Meyer, R. E. (2012). “Science or Science Fiction? Professionals’ Discursive Construction of Climate Change”. Organization Studies. 33 (11): 1477. doi:10.1177/0170840612463317

[4] SMT.  AAPG Geoscientist Survey Results Political Views of Geologists and Geophysicists.   © 2008 Seismic Micro-Technology

Worth repeating:

If scientifically literate conclusions regarding the causes of climate change are primarily driven by political ideology… The climate science is settled: It’s not science.

 

via Watts Up With That?

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May 10, 2018 at 02:13PM

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