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Unforced variations: Feb 2018

Filed under: — group @ 2 February 2018

This month’s open thread for climate science topics. Note that discussions about mitigation and/or adaptation should be on the Forced Responses thread.

Let’s try and avoid a Groundhog Day scenario in the comments!

266 Responses to “Unforced variations: Feb 2018”

  1. 201

    N 194: The “overpopulation” meme is just another myth made up by the elite

    BPL: No, it is not. It is elementary common sense. However evenly you divide up the goods, and however productive you can make the planet, reproduction without limits always overwhelms it in the end. You simply cannot grow population forever. Want the math?

  2. 202
    Nemesis says:

    Zebra, #197:

    ” Hey, Nemesis, why do you think that the rest of the world should/would refrain from polluting the commons when you and your buddies will not?”

    I didn’t demand to refrain from polluting from anybody, did I?^^ Let me repeat, I said:

    ” I am so glad that I don’t have to worry about my children and grandchildren, because I have none, I’ve seen shit coming decades ago, so I did not breed.”

    So it’s not about me anyway, I got absolutely nothing to lose, I could just pollute like anyone else (especially the funny “1%” and most of the people in the rich countries), if I wanted to :) But I DON’T :) My ecological footprint is already at the very low end of european standards all my life (no car, no flights, one pair of shoes, one pair of trousers ect, almost all my furniture is second hand, almost no meat (~ 150gr per week) ect ect) :) Not because I want to “save the planet” in the first place (Nature is a beautiful COOKING POT anyway :) ), but because the less I need, the less I need to consume, the more I am free :) And besides that, I take my responsibility for the planet and the coming generations very serious, despite the fact that I got no children :) But hey:

    If you think I could save even more co2 emissions by giving a shit about climate discussions, politics, economy, responsibility ect blah blah, by stopping to use internet altogether, I could do that, absolutely no problem, I think about that anyway. See, it fucks me up anyway and I got better things to do :’D So, do you want me to stop commenting on realclimate, stopping to use internet completely to save even more co2? No problem, just say it once and I’ll do i :’D Like I said:

    The less I need, the less funny material shit I use, the more I am free, letting go is the very best ticket to freedom and satisfaction ever :)

  3. 203
    Nemesis says:

    Know what? I’m just done here, discussions about climate change and the destruction of the ecosphere suck and lead to nowhere, because the crucial DECISIONS are made in a totally different place anyway :’D It’s useless for me to waste any more of my precious time, so I say goodbye (saves co2 as well^^), especially to Zebra :)

    End of story for my part.

  4. 204
    Thomas says:

    Look Ray, I do not live in a vacuum. By all means constrain your complaints to my actual words here (versus the fullness of all my opinions in regard the USA and her people including my sister a US citizen in Broward Cty aka bang bang) but when you state accusingly “rather than the black-and-white, good-and-evil dichotomy you espouse” then apply that standard EQUALLY UPON ALL POSTERS, and not merely dump it upon myself alone and not ONLY in regard the USA or it’s unique (and obviously dysfunctional corrupt and internationally abusive) version of Capitalism.

    That’s logic and also intelligent, imho. It’s also logical and rational that if someone is going to go out and do non-peer reviewed models on so-called “murders” by so-called “Communism” then you’d imagine they would be smart enough and BALANCED enough to also run a model on the murders, death and destruction by “Capitalism” since 1600 to today as well.

    I am not unbalanced nor biased. Here very occasionally I actually INSIST ON IT, and then I get criticized and abused for my trouble. You are criticising the WRONG PERSON Ray … lift your game mate! :-)

    25% of all AGW/CC rests squarely upon the shoulders of ALL Americans historically and today. That’s something for each of you to deal with. It’s a very valid critique based in hard facts and scientific rigour. If you are offended by such facts, tough, it’s the truth of it. Deal with it, and do NOT blame me for your nations cumulative direct negative effect upon this planet.

    Naturally you do not like being reminded of this. Which is why the American people, including scientists and PhDs should be. Including the war crime that was Cheney’s insane war on Iraq and the rest of the dumb shit the USA Govt seems unable to stop doing to other everyday people all over the world.

    Had Gary Webb exposed what he did in 1997 about Russia or China (instead of Reagan’s CIA/USA) what would be the impact of that and how many Americans would know about it today? You’re intelligent enough Ray to think that through rationally and theoretically.

    Never forget Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame either….. all these matters are connected with AGW/CC issues at the hip. Look harder! :-)

  5. 205
    Thomas says:

    203 Nemesis,

    As a wise man once said Nemesis: “It’s hard to fly like an eagle when you’re surrounded by turkeys!”

    I think he may have meant “when surrounded by zebras” too? LOL

    Take care, and don’t worry about it.

    Cheers and best wishes no matter what you do.

  6. 206

    And more deranged pro-Mother-Russia ranting from Commie Tommy. Good dezinformatsiya, Comrade!

  7. 207
    Omega Centauri says:

    You are displaying a lot of wisdom, I hope you won’t leave. A few comments on a text only blog won’t consume much carbon.

  8. 208
    nigelj says:

    Vendicar Decarian @199, great interview.

    I think David Roberts is right, except I think ideology is more important than he thinks. Plenty of conservatives seem afraid that the climate issue could lead to so called big government, and this is perhaps the core value driving a lot of the hard core conservative leaning tribalism (personally I think its an excessive fear). Something must be driving the tribalism, so if not this what?

    And I think John Cooke is right in his inoculation theory promoting logical reasoning and exposing rhetorical trickery. This clearly isn’t mutually exclusive with Robertsons position.

    And I agree the media thing is important, in the way that they manufacture hype and controversy (particularly over climate change) and confusion to generate attention and sales.Liberals seem more insulated from the media failings because they have more faith in science and experts, so have that lens to use when reading the media.

    However we are still left with the question of how to convince people, and I agree it may be largely a case of The Democrats more strongly “owning the climate issue”. The Labour government in New Zealand has made climate change one of their main policy planks, and it hasn’t hurt them in the polls. But like anything the policies have to be the right policies.

  9. 209
    scott nudds says:


    #194 “The “overpopulation” meme is just another myth made up by the elite.”

    Crank, idiocy.

  10. 210
    Killian says:

    Nemesis and nigelj,

    Nemesis, I need not elaborate that our views are close. You are correct whom to listen to. I say it here often. You are noticing the sands shifting: People are realizing the economics are not working, but they are also still holding on to them at all costs, believing tinkering will suffice. You and I know, and perhaps Thomas, no amount of tinkering will fix the problems associated with unending growth. There are hard limits. Until that, and several other Truths are accepted and internalized, you will see the same errors repeating, with variations. It’s all a bit like a night of jazz that ends in mayhem.

    No, nigelj, you are wrong. Not just a possibly mistaken opinion, but wrong: We have more than enough knowledge to fix this. You dismiss it because you don’t understand, or out of fear, or… god knows what.

    Anyway, not going to go too deep into this because it belongs on the Forced Responses thread, as zebra, in his usual churlish and rude way, said.

    See you over there.

    P.S. Zebra, Occam’s Razor: I’m guessing Nemesis didn’t see that thread, so posted here. Or, merely zoned that it existed. Your childish insults, however, are a direct eff u to the mods/owners.

  11. 211
    Killian says:

    Re 186 and 200:

    This belongs on the other thread, so suffice to say 186 is unsupported opinion and 200 should not accept the points uncritically. We have quotes from Chinese officials noting their contempt for American intransigence and noting the Chinese leadership is filled with scientists, engineers, etc., who “get” science.

    Occams: Since they have had Climate policies for at least ten years and are making remarkable progress, it makes some sense their efforts are primarily,though certainly not wholly, aimed at survival and are slowed by momentum of population growth, the need to appease 50 minorities, and the need to somehow get a billion+ to accept they missed the boat on the American-style good life and have to simplify rather than head to the disco an have steak for dinner regularly.

    Ar the Chinese anticipating a fight for limited resources? Sure. Are they dumb enough to think they can destabilize the planet with war and have their own people survive? I seriously doubt it.

    Yup, just opinion, but I consider the Chinese issue a little more closely than most since I live next door.

  12. 212
    Killian says:

    Before I head back to that other thread the mod/owners do not see fit to renew, let me point out the unbridled and unprovoked attacks by BPL (which he has done the the entire time I have been visiting this space) and zebra (who also has done this for as long as I can remember) as examples ofthe attacks and gaslighting that make this space the cesspool it often becomes.

    It is, indeed, the Peanut Gallery that keeps things bogged down. It is time the mod acted to reign it in. Or not.

  13. 213
    Killian says:

    Nemesis, there are only three of us left. Best you stay, if infrequently.

    Oh, you’re wrong about population in the long term, correct in the very short time. The yeast always fill the jar. (Al Bartlett and the exponential function.)

  14. 214
    scott nudds says:

    Why the scientific community has failed.

  15. 215
    zebra says:

    Omega C #207,

    I don’t want Nemesis to leave either– I would really like to have a discussion with him/her… on the appropriate freakin’ thread!

    The idea was that Forced Responses was where mitigation, adaptation, and sustainability, and the associated issues, could be discussed, and Unforced Variations would be freed up for climate science. You know, radiation physics and melting ice and so on, which I would also like to discuss with people with some knowledge.

    But here we are, and all the people who talk about cooperation and working together to maintain the commons of our planet— just consume any resource and fill any space that becomes available on this blog— exactly like the greedy “others” everyone condemns when it comes to the physical environment.

    It isn’t the carbon; it’s the column-inches and the clarity of information transmission. So, if “we” can’t exercise self-regulation when it requires what– an extra click?– what business do “we” have lecturing the other monkeys?

  16. 216
    Ray Ladbury says:

    My, it appears I struck a nerve! And yet, still not addressing my point–that the choices are not perfect or annihilation, but rather better or worse.

    The consumer culture in the US is indeed pernicious. It damages Earth and enslaves the citizens. However, it is not unique to the US. It is prevalent in Oz, Europe and increasingly in Asia. Moreover, the US is unlikely to disappear from the map or indeed even from influence any time soon. A USA that becomes Haiti with nukes is still going to be a threat–possibly a bigger one than it is now.

    As such, it might be more useful to understand why things are the way they are so that you can espouse useful ideas for positive change rather than to dismiss an entire country as the incarnation of evil.

    Just a thought.

  17. 217
    Killian says:

    Great, now the oceans can burp CO2, too. Great, just great…

  18. 218
    Killian says:

    Again…. here’s the link… egads…

  19. 219

    Does someone here know if there exists a recording of Hansen’s 2005 AGU Keeling Lecture? AGU does not seem to have the recording (or is withholding it).


  20. 220
    scott nudds says:

    What I took away from the interview was basically a well stated encapsulation of what I have come to understand after a long… long… long period of disbelief.

    First, denialists, who are principally conservative are tribal rather than rational. They reason with ideas that are chosen to best advance their tribe and their tribe’s ideology. This not only explains denialism itself, but also explains the constant shifting of denialist arguments defending that denial.

    But it extends beyond denial, to all other forms of conservative reasoning. Trump is excused for all manner of behavior that they would bludgeon the opposition for doing. He is a womanizer, and so was Clinton. Clinton is the devil. Trump doesn’t have to be perfect to do God’s work. Trump publicly admits to committing acts of sexual assault. Oh that was just locker room talk. He pays off the women who accuse him and they just ignore it, but again Clinton has an out of court settlement and he is the devil incarnate. And on and on it goes, with pizzagate and bengahzi, the emails, and all the other nonsense.

    Their reasoning is to advance their tribe, and if that means inventing conspiracy or believing in conspiracy then that is logical to them, because supporting their tribe is their logic.

    The response of the behavioral scientist is also quite instructive. He comes from academia, surrounded by reasonable people and rejects this concept of argument based on tribal advancement.

    He believes that – like the university types around him – that people are fundamentally rational, logical thinkers.

    His stated belief – his inoculation theory – is that if you just provide people with the evidence in the right way they will begin to believe the science.

    In his view it is just a matter of putting the words together in the right order and magically the masses will be convinced.

    This isn’t working, and hasn’t worked for the last 40 years.

    For the last 20 years they have been actively and openly looking for ways to package their message to convince the disbelievers, under the failed assumption that their target audience is fundamentally rational, when this is not the case.

    The guy being interviewed goes on to explain why attempts to convince are counter productive and a waste of time.

    The idea has been that a consensus among the public should be reached and then action taken.

    His point is that the opposite should occur – and I agree totally. The opposition should be driven to the polar opposite, and then crushed by the revelation that they were wrong. They should be pummeled with this failure at every opportunity and driven into the wilderness or crushed entirely if possible.

    Politically since science will eventually win, there should be no shrinking away from support from the science. Those opposing it should be vilified, labeled, marginalized, humiliated, and driven out of the political arena. This is how you achieve lasting victory.

    When you are on the winning side, there is no reason to be limp wristed and accommodating to the enemy.

    That is why the Democrats have largely failed.

    There are other points made as well. People substitute tribal support largely because of time constraints. Tribal policy is used in place of reasoning.

    This also explains why Republican talking points are so effective. Their party members just regurgitate them in place of thinking because that is how they think.

    There are other points to be found in the interview as well.

    What was quite interesting to me occurs after the interview. The scientist immediately reverts to defending and promoting his “inoculation” paradigm, showing that he has heard but he has not understood what he has been told. He can’t conceive that people would think in the manner just described to him, even though it is plainly obvious that this must be the case.

    His lab research says otherwise, no doubt based on the responses of semi-rational undergrad students. LOL The real world operates differently.

    He is a wonderful example of why science has failed.

  21. 221
    nigelj says:

    Vendicar Decarian @199,

    On second thoughts, the main reason for political tribalism in america is probably social values. In NZ the reason for political tribalism seems more to be economic ideology by my general personal observation.

  22. 222
    Solar Jim says:

    Interesting statement from Wikipedia, Carbon Dioxide Equivalent:

    To calculate the CO2e of the additional radiative forcing calculated from April 2016’s updated data:[3] ∑ RF(GHGs) = 3.3793, thus CO2e = 280 e3.3793/5.35 ppmv = 526.6 ppmv.

    This would seem to indicate that we should expect the consequences of radiative forcing of 500-600 ppm CO2 operating from several years ago. (Sorry Mike, it appears that your necessary, and appreciated, reporting is only part of the story)

  23. 223
    Nemesis says:

    @Thomas, Killian, nigelj, Omega Centauri et al:

    Thank you, I appreciate your style. Life is mostly kind of a “spiritual” thing to me, it’s about coming home to myself, finding peace, satisfaction, freedom within while staying away from materialistic consumerism like hell, not about changing the world nor “saving the planet”. I know, too many people in the rich countries don’t understand that, they are trapped in a materialistic/physicalistic worldview and emotional state, they didn’t learn better, brainwashed by Empire. I suffered the economic and sociopolitical system all my life and argued against it. I’m in my 50s now and I’m sick and tired of it, I don’t want to waste any more time arguing against Empire. From my point of view, Empire is done, finished, the overall situation is beyong repair already. And they will just go on with BAU anyway, making funny money, trying to increase “control” (they will implement climate geongineering soon), not realising that they are in free fall. I’ve seen the mess coming decades ago and I see the inevitable fall of Empire now, so there’s just nothing more to say for my part. Let me repeat some words I said someplace else:

    Capitalism is murder, capitalism combined with (neo-) colonialism is genocide and ecocide. Nature is driven by necessity, but capitalism/colonialism is driven by greed and ignorance. Nature leads to the boneyard one day, but capitalism/colonialism leads to Real Hell, Samsara.

    I wish you all the best, stay safe.

  24. 224
  25. 225
    Thomas says:

    216 Ray Ladbury says: “Thomas, My, it appears I struck a nerve!”

    No you have not Ray. Lift your game and get real and stop making everything PERSONAL you silly man.

    Address my comments with maturity and reason or I am not interested. Let me know when you can actually understand what I said before. I am not interested in your logical fallacies and your entrenched default argumentativeness coupled with your inability to comprehend either history or what I said.

    RE: “Just a thought.”

    Yes it was, and a really stupid one at that. So, thanks for nothing.

  26. 226
    Thomas says:

    206 Barton Paul Levenson,

    A better use of your time would be to research these issues and the way in which they affect many people their entire life:
    The Dummies Guide to PTSD

    People who suffer from extreme persistent issues like these are in need of external support by trained professionals but rarely recognize that or seek appropriate help. Many of the most outspoken AGW/CC deniers/internet trolls are only one example of such people in need. Another group are those who have gone through the extremes of War and Torture and become Refugees. Yet another group are their children and grandchildren.

  27. 227

    K 212: let me point out the unbridled and unprovoked attacks by BPL (which he has done the the entire time I have been visiting this space)

    BPL: Let me just edit that for you:

    let me point out the restrained and provoked attacks by BPL (which he has done every time someone floated something really stupid and obnoxious)

    No need to thank me. All in a day’s work.

  28. 228
    Thomas says:

    209 scott nudds says:
    25 Feb 2018 at 2:41 AM

    RE #194 “The “overpopulation” meme is just another myth made up by the elite.”

    Killain, what makes you say that? And in using the word “elite” would you mind clarifying what “groups” of people you are referring to there? eg is it global groups or only those in a particular nation or line of work?

    It might also assist others if you could parse the “meme” concept you are referring to in that simple conclusive statement. Perhaps others may not fully understand what you actually mean by that sentence.

    If you have time to do so. Thank You very much.

  29. 229
    Thomas says:

    Oh, I am sorry Killian, I made a mistake. You didn’t say that.

    It was from #194 Nemesis, so my queries apply to her. (and now she’s gone, bugger)

  30. 230
    Thomas says:

    215 zebra … Please stop blaming other people for you posting to the wrong thread. Please stop pretending you are the reasonable one when you show such distinct unreasonableness and a abject lack of reason.

  31. 231
    Thomas says:

    220 scott nudds: “He is a wonderful example of why science has failed.”

    Good point. My first good point is to ask why then do you not name Dr JOHN COOK rather than using the impersonal “he”? One is a much more effective form of communication than the other way is. Do not ‘pull your punches’ mate. Tell it like it is, please.

    I also congratulate you for the very articulate manner in which you have summarised a key issue I have been speaking about here for years. Well done Scott. All Kudos to you for that.

    If you are interested may I suggest a quick RC search box check using the words Thomas and George Lakoff … there you should find hundreds of examples of where precisely the issues you have raised in your post have been repeated here ad nauseum for many a year. To little impact in generating some positive change here or “effect” upon others, obviously.

    And Lakoff is only one little example of the never-ending theme. C’est la vie.

    Anyway back to Dr John Cook, where I note your comment about his comment on that site, and he obviously NOT hearing a word that was said.

    So my other good point is to ask why do you not copy and paste your excellent post here and repost it WITH A URL to JOHN COOK’S website, like right now (if you have not already)?

    Please, there is no need to hide your light under a bushel Scott.

    But no matter what you may choose to do or not do, great stuff anyway!


  32. 232
    Killian says:

    #215 zebra said I don’t want Nemesis to leave either– I would really like to have a discussion with him/her… on the appropriate freakin’ thread!

    The idea was that Forced Responses was where mitigation, adaptation, and sustainability, and the associated issues, could be discussed, and Unforced Variations would be freed up for climate science.

    But here we are, and all the people who talk about cooperation and working together to maintain the commons of our planet— just consume any resource and fill any space that becomes available on this blog— exactly like the greedy “others” everyone condemns when it comes to the physical environment.

    It isn’t the carbon; it’s the column-inches

    The conceit Nemesis is taking up column inches is completely dishonest. The conceit *you* are not is completely delusional if not downright dishonest. On top of which, you a major source of conflict with your rudeness of which your post is a major example.

    Goodness… some people’s kids…

    What is amazing is the gaslighting. We are over on the other thread, while the peanut gallery stays here and stirs things up when all was calm. As usual. This is not new. It goes on and on because it goes unpunished.

  33. 233
    nigelj says:

    Scott nudds @220, you talk sense, however I think the inoculation theory idea about exposing rhetorical trickery and logical fallacies should be tried. It has not really been tried much in the last 40 years, and instead the focus in popular climate science books and newspaper media articles has been on wearing climate denial down mostly on science argument, with some limited references to them being “misleading”. In fact its only websites like this that really call climate denialists out as being misleading.

    I just suggest 99% of climate denialist arguments are based on nothing more than cherry picking, misleading tosh, strawmen, red herrings, fake experts etcetra, so if this is the truth, then this is what the public should be told very loudly. Of course they tell lies as well, but accusing people of lies is harder to prove so be careful. That’s obviously not to say ignore the science and other factors, of course.

  34. 234
    Thomas says:

    Scott n John Cooks site, really good point @20:40 which begins with Cook showing up his lack of understanding about the issue, again. No one can speak about agw/cc properly and have that loom large as threatening.

    That he repeatedly skips this reality of life is dumbfounding to the extreme. But he is not the only one connected with agw/cc science who does this and thinks that way. That’s quite unfortunate.

    anyway, fwiw imho, all comments about this topic info rasied by Scott should be Cut and Pasted (ie transferred by the Mods) to the ….. if so, that thread will continue for a few years instead of only a few minutes/days.

  35. 235
    Thomas says:

    and NOT have that loom large as threatening.

    If it isn’t “threatening” then they are either intentionally lying or not telling the truth.

  36. 236
    nigelj says:

    Thomas @234, regarding the interview linked by Vendar Decarian.

    I agree Cook isn’t listening enough Roberts and acknowledging that side of the issue. I think Roberts is right on most things, and the whole climate issue is tribal on the republican side, and the democrats have not owned the climate problem, and are too luke warm or weak on climate change policies, overall. It was barely even an election policy. Only when the Democrats own the issue will the republicans start to worry.

    However Cook is right about his own ideas. Hes right about the nature of climate denialism in the sense of the misleading tactics they use, and how to combat these. Even if it only convinces a few people this helps. Remember some democrats are rather sceptical about agw so how do people convince them? John Cook might. Cook wont convince the hard right people, but he will convince others more in the middle of the debate. And his ideas have wider application than just the climate issue. Have a closer look into them.

  37. 237
    scott nudds says:

    Re: 233 “I think the inoculation theory idea about exposing rhetorical trickery and logical fallacies should be tried.”

    It has been tried. It has been tried for the last 30 years, with little success, and the reason for the failure is obvious. The target audience isn’t composed of rational thinkers. It is composed of people who think in terms of what is good for their tribe, and they are being told what is good for their tribe by members of their own tribe who are engaging in their own campaign of “social inoculation”.

    “I just suggest 99% of climate denialist arguments are based on nothing more than cherry picking,”

    Ya. So what?

    It’s good for my tribe.

    The world is cooling so it is good for my tribe to make it warmer.

    “misleading tosh, strawmen, red herrings, fake experts etcetra,”

    Ya… So what?

    It is good for my tribe.

    My tribe needs more stuff because more stuff means improved life and that comes from oil, so we need to consume more oil.

    “Of course they tell lies as well”

    Ya. So what?

    Lying is good for my tribe.

    Lying brings my tribe wealth and power, and influence. Lying brings my tribe cohesion and commonality, allows us to rally to defeat our enemies, and provides a comforting narrative.

  38. 238
    scott nudds says:

    Re 221: “the main reason for political tribalism in america is probably social values”

    That can’t be the case.

    Clinton was vilified for getting a BJ from a young women who told her friends she was taking her presidential knee pads with her to the WH. The Republican tribe tried to crucify him for that.

    Trump on the other hand has openly boasted about sexually assaulting women, and there are 20 or so women who now claim to have been so assaulted by him, and the same tribe excuses those real crimes.

    Where are the social values there.

    On abortion the Republican tribe is in strict opposition, but strongly supports murdering non-American children if they get in the way, and strongly supports withdrawing health care and nutrition programs from children once they are born.

    Where are the social values there.

    You can compile a huge list of these contradictions, and people have done so, you can easily find them on line, where the Republican tribe holds two contradictory views at the same time.

    There are no social values there. Just Tribalism. Do or say whatever is needed to support the tribe, it keeps the tribe coherent, and the membership apes pulling in the same direction. Which direction doesn’t matter, as long as the tribe stays strong.

  39. 239
    Killian says:

    #220 Scott Nudds

    Pummeling denial. Yes. Jail them for crimes against humanity. But false equivalence and fear of being meanies results in those bashing proven liars upside the head has instead typically gotten the good guy banned while the murdering psychopath has free reign on websites across the interwebs.

    Strange brew.

  40. 240
    Killian says:

    Re Tribalism.

    Bullshoot. Tribes are not as depicted by bespectacled White men.

    See, “The Authoritarians” for a much more insightful and more accurate explanation. And, if you ignore the intentionality of the events beginning @ 1995 and still continuing, well-documented by Oreskes et al., you really are missing the boat. Propaganda, political malfeasance and relying on the Authoritarian base are more than enough to explain things.

    Calling it tribalism is an insult to cooperative, egalitarian, sustainable peoples across the globe. It’s a moden illness, not an ancient one.

  41. 241

    K 240: Calling it tribalism is an insult to cooperative, egalitarian, sustainable peoples across the globe.

    BPL: Because they’re, like, in touch with nature, man. Because they’ve found their center. They’re not into a lot of false consumerism. Um… got any… you know… peyote?

  42. 242
    MA Rodger says:

    And HadCRUT4 has been posted with January having an anomaly of +0.553ºC. This makes it the 8th warmest January on record (after 2016 +0.93ºC, 2007 +0.82ºC, 2017 +0.74ºC, 2015 +0.70ºC, 2002 +0.64ºC, 2003 +0.60ºC, 2010 +0.56ºC) which may seem a bit of a long list compared to January being 5th warmest in GISS & NOAA. It is also stands =90th in the all-month listing (=43rd in GISS, =72nd in NOAA).
    Relative to recent months in HadCRUT, the January anomaly shows no real change (Sept 2017 +0.56ºC, Oct +0.57ºC, Nov +0.55ºC, Dec +0.59ºC). Such anomalies represent the coolest such period seen since 2013 (monthly anomalies since 2010 graphed here – usually 2 clicks to ‘download your attachment’.) but when considering the full year, it should be mentioned that the liklihood of an El Nino forming for the end of the year has been gaining weight over recent months.

  43. 243
    nigelj says:

    Scott Nudds @238

    Yes I agree the climate issue is tribal on the republican side, and convincing those people with science and pointing out logical fallacies wont work, or at least not with many. But it has worked with a few, for example Jerry Taylor:

    However there are plenty of rational agw sceptics or luke warmers on the democrat side, that could probably be convinced with rational argument. Its just a slow process.

  44. 244
    nigelj says:

    Scott Nudds @238

    Well yes there are certainly massive contradictions in the republican position currently. They loathe big government, except when it suits their goals of course!

    But I think you are confusing contradictions with some underlying values. The republicans have conservative social values on the whole, related to sexual conduct, abortion, drug laws, and these are very important to them. Of course there’s hypocrisy and a failure to meet their own standards at times. There is failure with almost anyone on this fine planet.

    But something drives tribalism, and you haven’t pointed out a better reason. I think its likely core social concerns, plus economic ideology.

    Just another issue. Roberts noted that the democrats have more faith in science. Yes and no. They tend to oppose genetic engineering etc, republicans are sceptical about agw climate change and evolution. But democrats do seem to have more faith in expert views on the whole.

  45. 245
    nigelj says:

    Killian @240

    The use of the word tribalism in this context is unfortunate, but does not mean all tribes or tribal behavious are bad. I’m not sure what other word succinctly describes the issue.

    The Authoritarians is a good book. Another source for anyone interested is moral foundations theory, on wikipedia. There’s provably a strong relationship between conservatism and climate denial and “authoritarianism”, but the left can sometimes be authoritarian (Stalin).

    Its complicated dynamics, shades of grey. Parenting is by nature authoritarian, but some adults are excessively authoritarian, and some people are drawn like magnets to populist authoritarian leaders, and if its some moronic climate denying sociopathic leader with “aternate right Brietbart” leanings, we have a problem

    But I’m inclined to think “tribal’ political differences are hard to pair back to one underlying reason. Its like we see clusters of differences and driving factors that nestle together.

  46. 246
    Thomas says:

    236 nigelj, hi, I am really well informed about John Cook’s work and ideas for many years. He’s one of the good guys, his good intentions and the competency of his work regarding “psychological memes” surrounding “denial” is unquestionable. This does not mean that everything coming out of his mouth is 100% correct nor as useful and effective as it could be. The historical facts are he has not made a dent in denialism nor it’s effectiveness in successfully blocking sane rational action on agw/cc via the political/media realm. But he has successfully educated a lot of non-agw/cc-denial people about HOW that works and why. So have others in the psychology field. This is no excuse to STOP LISTENING and opine he already knows it all. imho. Cook has not achieved is primary goals. iow he has failed thus far to make a difference that matters. The important questions to ask, is Why is that so? What could he improve/change that would actually help him to achieve his goals in the real world?

    RE: words like Tribes and Tribalism … imho, the context and jargon of how such words are being used by Roberts et al are purely “cognitive psychology”. It has nothing to do with native tribes nor anthropology per se. Now they could find better words to describe the human dynamic they are addressing so it was less confusing. But all of science and all communication with the public suffers from issues like this: Words mean different things to different people and trigger different unconscious psychological responses. One of the reasons that agw/cc denial was so damned easy to succeed for so long already.

    There’s a reason why super-intelligent people like Noam Chomsky studied Linguistics and not Psychics nor Climate Science. He wanted to be able to help the latter do a better job in their specialist fields.

    Barely any “climate scientist” or IPCC authors have understood this reality for 40 years now in regard decoding their science to the general public and politicians and social groups. Like what does “trend” mean (as recently mentioned by me, but that flew over the heads of everyone here I suspect only to be ignored as usual), like wtf would I know about such “high brow work” going on in them there ivory towers? I can read and understand academic papers on all kinds of science, that’s what. I am not myopic nor do I have a self-important “tribal territory” that I “believe” must be defended from an ‘attack’ that is not even happening in Reality. Unconscious beliefs and Unconscious reactions are Unconscious! That’s a problem, where the solution is a higher degree of awareness and more knowledge – not less – and definitely not entrenched Ignorance.

  47. 247
    Killian says:

    Reforestation a greater carbon sink than thought.

  48. 248
    nigelj says:

    Thomas @246

    I agree to the extent that Cook has not convinced the big target group of hard core ideologically driven denialists and crazies. I do think he has probably convinced a few in the middle of the debate. I just think Cook has a different slant on the issue than simply arguing the science, remember that. His ideas will take a while to gain wider exposure.

    I think one of the problems in America has been the so called email scandal involving P Jones. The numbers who accepted the science fell I think after that unfortunate thing. It was of course a giant beat up with no substance, but had a bad look. It has obscured whether the efforts of people like Cook have achieved anything.

    However Roberts argued the democrats have to own the climate problem which makes sense. Not sure how he thinks that will happen, but I hope it will. Cooks ideas can only help that process imho.

    Yes its not about native tribes. I would suggest more about politics as well as psychology. Although they are ultimately very closely related. Authoritarianism has a lot to do with the denial side of things, but I don’t think that is the only thing. The term tribalism might upset some people, but there are numerous books with political tribalism in the title. I’m afraid we may be stuck with the word.

    Yes N Chomsky is a genius, but you will hate this. I think his theory of grammar is a bit dubious. Probably beside the point.

    You would need to clarify your last paragraph. If you think part of the problem is that the science is badly presented to the public, then this seems to endorse the Cook’s and other peoples attempts to better communicate the science.

    Its tough communicating science to the public, because you have to simplify yet not over simplify. I actually think scientists have done as well as is possible. How could it be explained better, other than tidying up a few rough edges?

    This does rather lead back to the need for liberals to simply own the whole issue more.

    Anyway, I would ideally also love to see the general print media put a bit more attention on explaining how climate denialists use rhetorical trickery, as opposed to just purely writing science articles. I think this element of Cooks approach could have some impact.

  49. 249
    Mr. Know It All says:

    181 – nigelj

    That graph looks like a visual migraine. They look exactly as shown in this video starting at 0:16. If you don’t know what it is, you may freak out if it happens to you. Good thing to be aware of:

  50. 250
    Thomas says:

    248 nigelj, another excellent response. Thank you very much.

    I want to give it the respect & justice it deserves and so I am going to sleep on it. Will get back to you. The longer I take the shorter my reply will be. I’ll probably get back to you on either FR or the Ipcc communications thread, not sure yet.

    In the meantime u keep at it, and anyone else can respond to you if so motivated. cheers ‘the evil one’ :-)