Essay by Eric Worrall
“… Climate change deniers simplify the spectrum of possible scientific consensus into two categories: 100% agreement or no consensus at all. If it’s not one, it’s the other. …”
The thinking error that makes people susceptible to climate change denial
Published: May 2, 2023 10.13pm AEST
Jeremy P. Shapiro
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University
Cold spells often bring climate change deniers out in force on social media, with hashtags like #ClimateHoax and #ClimateScam. Former President Donald Trump often chimes in, repeatedly claiming that each cold snap disproves the existence of global warming.
From a scientific standpoint, these claims of disproof are absurd. Fluctuations in the weather don’t refute clear long-term trends in the climate.
Yet many people believe these claims, and the political result has been reduced willingness to take action to mitigate climate change.
Why are so many people susceptible to this type of disinformation? My field, psychology, can help explain – and help people avoid being misled.
The allure of black-and-white thinking
Close examination of the arguments made by climate change deniers reveals the same mistake made over and over again. That mistake is the cognitive error known as black-and-white thinking, also called dichotomous and all-or-none thinking. As I explain in my book “Finding Goldilocks,” black-and-white thinking is a source of dysfunction in mental health, relationships – and politics.
Climate change deniers simplify the spectrum of possible scientific consensus into two categories: 100% agreement or no consensus at all. If it’s not one, it’s the other.
Read more: https://theconversation.com/the-thinking-error-that-makes-people-susceptible-to-climate-change-denial-204607
Do any of you seriously believe a single cold snap disproves global warming?
I personally support the premise that the world has warmed since the mid 1800s, and anthropogenic CO2 likely contributed. A single cold snap is not proof that global warming has stopped, that would be an absurd proposition.
But climate alarmists seem all too ready to promote the black and white thinking fallacy Professor Shapiro accuses deniers of embracing, they seem very ready to spin every heatwave as proof of the global warming end times.
3Q: Why Europe is so vulnerable to heat waves
Climate modeling shows that this summer’s devastating European heat wave may indeed be a harbinger of the future for that region.
David L. Chandler | MIT News Office
Publication Date: October 11, 2022
This year saw high-temperature records shattered across much of Europe, as crops withered in the fields due to widespread drought. Is this a harbinger of things to come as the Earth’s climate steadily warms up?
Elfatih Eltahir, MIT professor of civil and environmental engineering and H. M. King Bhumibol Professor of Hydrology and Climate, and former doctoral student Alexandre Tuel PhD ’20 recently published a piece in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists describing how their research helps explain this anomalous European weather. The findings are based in part on analyses described in their book “Future Climate of the Mediterranean and Europe,” published earlier this year. MIT News asked the two authors to describe the dynamics behind these extreme weather events.
Q: Was the European heat wave this summer anticipated based on existing climate models?
Eltahir: Climate models project increasingly dry summers over Europe. This is especially true for the second half of the 21st century, and for southern Europe. Extreme dryness is often associated with hot conditions and heat waves, since any reduction in evaporation heats the soil and the air above it. In general, models agree in making such projections about European summers. However, understanding the physical mechanisms responsible for these projections is an active area of research.
Read more: https://news.mit.edu/2022/europe-heat-waves-climate-change-1011
What about Professor Shapiro’s claim that President Trump thinks cold snaps disprove global warming?
Do any of you seriously believe President Trump thinks cold snaps disprove global warming? Or is it more likely he is poking fun at alarmists?
Did this humorous tweet get included in Professor Shapiro’s analysis? Was it part of his proof that climate deniers, and he specifically cited President Trump, are black and white thinkers?
If so, how could Professor Shapiro make such an obvious mistake?
My personal theory is most greens don’t possess a sense of humour, so they have difficulty recognising humour when they see it. I accept that Professor Shapiro genuinely believes Trump is being serious when he pokes fun at climate alarmist tropes.
Of course, I’m not an adjunct assistant professor of psychological sciences, whatever that is. Feel free to share your own theory, about what might have gone wrong with Professor Shapiro’s analysis.
via Watts Up With That?
May 3, 2023 at 09:16PM