Sections

Services

Information

UK United Kingdom

Climate change deniers are rarer than we think

Australians grossly overestimate the proportion of people who deny that climate change is happening, a CSIRO study has found…

The vast majority of climate scientists warn that global warming is melting ice caps, but not everyone believes it. http://www.flickr.com/photos/mura82

Australians grossly overestimate the proportion of people who deny that climate change is happening, a CSIRO study has found.

The study, published today in the journal Nature Climate Change, surveyed over 5000 Australians over two years.

In response to the question, ‘Which of the following statements best describes your thoughts on climate change?’ people chose from: ‘I don’t think that climate change ‘is happening’; ‘I have no idea whether climate change is happening or not’; ‘I think that climate change is happening, but it’s just a natural fluctuation in Earth’s temperatures’; ‘I think that climate change is happening, and I think that humans are largely causing it’.

Respondents were also asked to estimate the proportion of people who would select each answer.

In 2010, respondents estimated that 21.6% of Australians believed climate change was not happening, when in fact only 5.6% of respondents said it was not happening.

In 2011, respondents estimated that 23% of Australians believed climate change was not happening, when the actual proportion who think it was not happening was 7.2%.

The report also found that whatever your opinion on climate change, most people estimate their own view to be the most common.

“The cues and messages we pick up in our external environment can influence our opinions. No one likes to think they are alone in their opinion,” said lead researcher Zoe Leviston, a social scientist at the CSIRO.

A disproportionate amount of media airtime given to climate sceptics may lead some people to overestimate the prevalence of that view, she said.

“That journalistic tradition of giving equal eight to both sides of the story is a noble sentiment but it can lead to these consensus effects,” she said.

Will J Grant from the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science at the Australian National University said powerful interests promoted the voices of climate sceptics.

“Empty vessels make the most noise. It’s in economic interests of certain actions to promote these empty vessels,” said Dr Grant, who was not involved in the study.

Join the conversation

157 Comments sorted by

  1. Sean Lamb

    Science Denier

    I like to think of myself as rare, a rare talent, a rare intellect.

    However, climate change denier is a rather flexible term - for example for me climate change is tautology, climate is always in a state of flux. You might just as well be a surf denier.

    When studies ask more sophisticated questions - like "do you think climate variation being observed is largely man made or due to natural variation" then the number is much higher than 5-7 %.

    The CSIRO researchers know this, so their design of the survey was essentially dishonest. But show me a scientist that ISN"T dishonest.

    Now that really is a rarity.

    report
    1. Sean Lamb

      Science Denier

      In reply to Sean Lamb

      In fact it is Dr Levison own data that says a majority of Australians are climate change deniers by any meaningful definition of the term
      And I am sure we have been through this all before on The Conversation.

      4.2% Have no idea
      7.1% Think the climate isn't changing
      46.5% Think that climate change is just natural variation.
      A bit more transparency in scientific communication would be greatly appreciated.

      report
    2. Dennis Singer

      Student

      In reply to Sean Lamb

      Hi Sean,

      You say:

      "But show me a scientist that ISN"T dishonest.

      Now that really is a rarity."

      So do you think the ~97% of active climate scientists who accept that human activity is the major contributor to climate change are being dishonest on that point?

      So why are climate scientists being dishonest?

      report
    3. Wil B

      B.Sc, GDipAppSci, MEnvSc, Environmental Planner

      In reply to Sean Lamb

      I think you've got it right - you do have a rare intellect.

      report
    4. Dennis Alexander

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Sean Lamb

      I have to agree with you on the data Sean. But surely, if Dr Levison was a liar, then we could detect some 'tricks' and 'fixes' (nodding towards climategate) to ensure that your perfidious perceptiveness did not unveil such a fact.
      But just to pedantically correct your numbers, assuming you were looking at Dr Levison's, we have 7.2% not happening and 43.8% as natural giving a total AGW denial of a simple majority of 51% - it is the 'AGW' qualifier that gets the simple majority as the 43.8% may well accept it is happening but deny the anthropogenic cause. But then, just because a simple majority think something is this way doesn't make it so.

      report
    5. Chris Lee

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Sean Lamb

      You sound brilliant. Care to link any of your peer reviewed journals?

      report
    6. Sean Lamb

      Science Denier

      In reply to Sean Lamb

      @Chris Lee - well there are a couple, although I try to keep my lamp under a bushell in peer review journals.
      @Dennis Singer
      Beats me. Although you don't have to be a climate scientist to spin results like this.
      @Dennis Alexander
      Your pedantry is misplaced. The 46.5% is the correct figure, the 43.8% was using a loose question. When you specified that climate change had to be LARGELY caused by human activity, then the sceptics went up to 46.5%.

      I believe that climate change is happening (or rather I don't care enough to argue the point), I believe that human activity probably has some effect on climate (hey, you can put me down as one of the 97%!). But I also believe that AGW is madness.

      report
    7. Bored_Wombat

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Sean Lamb

      "When studies ask more sophisticated questions - like "do you think climate variation being observed is largely man made or due to natural variation" then the number is much higher than 5-7 %.

      The CSIRO researchers know this, so their design of the survey was essentially dishonest."

      What I like about this comment is that you obviously didn't follow the link to the paper. The CSIRO researchers had human caused and natural caused answers to the question as well.

      "But show me a scientist that ISN"T dishonest."

      The good old ad-hominem. This will also excuse you for not reading the paper, after all, it was written by evil scientists.

      BTW, I notice you're using a computer or smartphone to make this post. Did you build it yourself from scratch, or are you happy to use the results of science while still vilifying the people who have gone in to the field to make our lives better?

      report
    8. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Sean Lamb

      Trolls like Sean are like graffiti artists - they all think that they are "rare talents" - the next Banksy. In reality they are mostly people whose only skill is the ability to sign their name with a spray can on any available space.

      Sean's arguments never rise above "it has happened before" (his favourite) or "the climate is always changing". They are the climate science denier equivalent of the the creationist argument "If humans evolved from monkeys, why do monkeys still exist?"

      report
    9. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Sean Lamb

      "for example for me climate change is tautology, climate is always in a state of flux"

      Has it changed in the past 16 years? If your answer is no then why do you use a dishonest cherry-pick?

      report
    10. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Sean Lamb

      "I like to think of myself as rare, a rare talent, a rare intellect."

      Not rare enough unfortunately.

      report
    11. Leo Kerr

      Consultant

      In reply to Sean Lamb

      "I like to think of myself as rare, a rare talent, a rare intellect." - thanks for the morning laugh Sean - that rare intellect shines through brilliantly..... lmao

      report
  2. John Coochey

    Mr

    A light weight meaningless article possibly based on a light weight meaningless survey. Why if being an objective editor use the emotive and offensive term "denier"? Without seeing the actual questions it is hard to comment other than I doubt if anyone does not believe that climate changes. What we are now talking about is CACCG. Catastrophic Anthropogenic Caused Climate Change. Was that or a similar phrase used in the survey? Obviously climate has changed, dinosaurs no longer roam the earth but we have coal deposits in Spitzbergan and the Antarctic and I do not put that down to continental drift So what has this survey actually found out?

    report
    1. Geoffrey Edwards

      logged in via email @gmail.com

      In reply to John Coochey

      1) I think you meant CACCC, and not CACCG.

      2) You don't need "Caused" in there. The suffix '-genic' has that bit covered.

      3) CACC should thus be sufficient for your future posting needs.

      report
    2. Chris Lee

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to John Coochey

      So, in order to cling onto your views, you are willing to drag CSIRO's name through the mud as well? Maybe it's worth asking yourself, "is it really the whole world is against me, or could I possibly be wrong about this?"

      report
    3. Wil B

      B.Sc, GDipAppSci, MEnvSc, Environmental Planner

      In reply to John Coochey

      " Why if being an objective editor use the emotive and offensive term "denier"?"

      Denier has very much entered the popular lexicon. It's fairly accurate, this is after all the denial of science due to ideology.

      "Without seeing the actual questions it is hard to comment"

      Agreed! and the human driven aspect of climate change is what we're all focusing on. ACC is a common enough term, where A is for anthropogenic.

      report
    4. Bored_Wombat

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to John Coochey

      I think that you're making things up.

      A search on Google Scholar for papers and publications with the phrase "Catastrophic Anthropogenic Caused Climate Change" returns zero results.

      I don't think that the term "Catastrophic" has a strict scientific definition. Certainly in climate science it doesn't. There may be some meaning in epidemiology.

      If you want to see the questions, there is a link to the paper in Nature Climate Change in the article.

      What the survey found many things. One notable…

      Read more
    5. Linus Bowden

      management consultant

      In reply to John Coochey

      You will note that most of the articles of this site are now authored by the Media Studies "editorial" crew, rather than actual scholars.

      report
    6. Linus Bowden

      management consultant

      In reply to John Coochey

      Ironically the very people responsible for the whole "deniers under the bed" hysterical meme in the first place.

      report
    7. Michael Gioiello

      High school music teacher/ freelance Opera singer

      In reply to John Coochey

      You ask what the survey is about? I am still trying to work out what your comment was about. We don't need comments like yours. Especially uneducated ones

      report
    8. Paul Savage

      Theme Leader, Biotechnology at CSIRO

      In reply to John Coochey

      @Bored_Wombat. A Google search for "Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change" returns 58,900 hits, Google Scholar returns 21 hits.

      report
    9. Grendelus Malleolus

      Senior Nerd

      In reply to John Coochey

      Paul Savage - I also found 21 google scholar hits - 3 from legal journals, 1 letter (Energy and Environment) 1 annual review (Energy and Environment), 6 pieces of grey literature, 5 blogs, forums or websites and 5 items from unrelated fields (ethics, anthropology etc).

      It does not appear to be a term in use within climate science at all. it is however used by sceptic/denier groups.

      report
  3. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

    Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

    Having been active on the internet in discussions on climate change, I was surprised and delighted to learn that the percentage of people who believed that climate change is not real was so low.

    I'm not surprised to see that this article had quickly been criticised by the usual deniers. For some even the CSIRO are in on some conspiracy to distort the truth.

    I'm hoping that the new approach to comments will make a big difference to the conversations about climate change on The Conversation. As you can no longer down vote postings which you think add no value, I urge readers to recommend those posts which you think do add value.

    Perhaps we can now discuss the important issues - such as how to convince the 92.8% of people who accept the science which proves that the climate is changing to recognise that much greater cuts in emissions are urgently required to prevent warming of well over 2 degrees.

    report
    1. Linus Bowden

      management consultant

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Actually, this just proves how ill-informed you and your obsessive ilk have become. As tedious as medieval heresy-hunters and witch-burners. The Social Psychology hivemind really does not to get out more.

      report
    2. David Clerke

      Teacher

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      But I thought skeptics accepted that climate was changing just for reasons which were not exclusively man made and there has been no temperature increases for sixteen years. An article a few items ago showed devastating climate change from agriculture in Central America. Are you suggesting we give up agriculture?

      report
    3. David Clerke

      Teacher

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      So someone who denies there has been no temperature rise for sixteen years, who denies the medieval warm period or denies the Roman warm period or denies the Gergis hockey stick paper or the Lewandowsky moon landing paper have both been withdrawn is a ????

      Why not provide a link to the actual questions and settle the argument? Don't deny it

      report
    4. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      "But I thought skeptics accepted that climate was changing"

      No, the pseudo-skeptics try to tell us there has been no global warming for the past 16 years (with a dishonest cherry-pick) so they don't accept that the climate is changing. They just contradict themselves.

      report
    5. David Nutzuki

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Maybe your intentions are good and you are just mistakenly linking and confusing CO2 climate change crisis with environmentalism. Climate change was a 26 year old "failed" death threat to MY kids and billions of others. You should be glad it was exaggerated so dump the CO2 mistake because further support of the non-crisis isn't helping anyone or the planet. REAL planet lovers are former believers.
      We can't continue to love a planet with fear with the CO2 spear of fear stuck in our kid’s backs.

      report
    6. John Coochey

      Mr

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      I cannot see how Michael gets any comfort from the surveys as the both show the majority of Australians do not believe in man made dominance in global warming and that number is rising. It beggars belief how this article can be titled "Climate Change Deniers (sic) rarer than we think" How many did the author think were rationalists?

      report
    7. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      @ John Coochey - having trouble reading and understanding english again John?

      The survey and the article point out that, regardless of opinion on climate change, those who deny it or don't know tend to radically over estimate those who agree with them whereas those who accept it is happening (human caused or not) tend to radically underestimate those who agree with them.

      The secondary conclusion that denialists such as yourself have jumped on - totally ignoriing the main premise of the article - is that the number who accept that Climate Change is human induced has reduced by a little under 6% between the two survey time periods.

      Of course, deniers such as yourself wouldn't have a habit of cherry picking the data they want to support their conclusions and studiously ignoring everything else now would they?

      report
  4. David Clerke

    Teacher

    So if "denier" an obvious slur linking logical thinking to what we are now required to call holocaust denialism is acceptable because it is in common parlance is it now acceptable to use bung (actually originally and Indonesian word for comrade) nigger (a contraction of spanish negro meaning black) jew meaning to swindle someone and given this meaning among others in the Oxford Dictionary; After all they are all in common parlance but why use them when there are other words available unless it is to give offence or at least make a political slur.

    report
    1. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to David Clerke

      The term 'denier' is used for someone who will deny and ignore any evidence that goes against their beliefs.

      As seen by reading the conversations on this website, there are may regular posters who can very fairly and reasonably be called 'climate change deniers'.

      Most people, even those who doubt climate change, are not deniers because if they are given the opportunity to properly evaluate the evidence they will follow the evidence.

      report
    2. Account Deleted

      logged in via email @drdrb.net

      In reply to David Clerke

      The OED records the first usage of "denier" as 1475. If you check your history book, you'll find that's a bit before the holocaust.
      What do you mean by "now required to call holocaust denialism"? Do you not think that an appropriate name for it?

      report
    3. Kim Peart

      Researcher & Writer

      In reply to David Clerke

      The art of denial was practiced with a vengeance at the time of Galileo, until the science could no longer be denied and the Church fathers forced into retreat and eventually, an apology.

      Following the controversies about evolution once it hit the scene, there are many who still cling to the old myth, as if their would is a tough bubble.

      The most amazing modern denial latches onto the Moon landings, that they were a hoax, even though an experiment is still being run on the Moon, to test its distance from the Earth.

      To deny science is a time-honoured convention and if any individual wants to follow this path and argue their case, that is their liberty in a free society.

      It is also our liberty to ignore the denial, or speak to it, if the drift from veracity does not amuse us.

      Kim Peart

      report
  5. David Clerke

    Teacher

    "Most people, even those who doubt climate change, are not deniers because if they are given the opportunity to properly evaluate the evidence they will follow the evidence."
    Like climategate, netherlands gate, glacier gate, himalay gate withdrawal of Gerghis hockey stick paper and Lewandowski's moon landing paper. That is not evidence any more than increased ice (means global warming if in Antarctica) or less ice (means global warming when in Arctic) Vanishing snow in UK (heavy snow falls) vanishing ski fields in Australia, (bumper seasons) some evidence. Or should we take the evidence of experts like who predict imminent devastating sea level rises and then buy multiple homes on the waterfront?

    report
    1. Account Deleted

      logged in via email @drdrb.net

      In reply to David Clerke

      David,

      You are getting your evidence from the same people who confidently predicted a massive Romney victory. Does that not give you pause?

      PS What do you teach?

      report
  6. David Clerke

    Teacher

    So just for the record temperatures have increased in the last sixteen years or not? If so by how much and did pre industrial agriculture cause the Mayan collapse or not?

    report
    1. Peter Sommerville

      Scientist & Technologist

      In reply to David Clerke

      Statisticallly David, they haven't - but don't expect Mike Hansen to understand that. His grasp of statistics is somewhat limited. When challenged by lack of understanding he resorts to denigration instead.

      However, if you analyse long term trends a hiatis of up to 17 years is consistent with the trends predicted by models. If it continues for more than 17 years then some serious questions will have to be asked about the modelling.

      It is early days but already some empirical science is emerging that challenges the assumptions built into the models:

      http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v5/n10/abs/ngeo1580.html

      As I have said many times before in this place, science is never cut and dried, and never settled.

      report
    2. Account Deleted

      logged in via email @drdrb.net

      In reply to David Clerke

      Temperatures have increased by 0.08 degrees since 1997, on a standard OLS regression.

      Deforestation and land degradation by Mayan agriculture contributed to the collapse of their civilisation, as did climate change. There is a good overview of all the different factors in this article (free): http://geology.gsapubs.org/content/38/6/575.full

      These factors are implicated in lots of different ancient civilisational collapses. The Tigris and Euphrates valleys in the middle east used to be some of the most fertile areas on earth (hence the old name "the fertile crescent" for Iraq and Iran, places we are more inclined to think of as deserts), and intensive deforestation and irrigation by the sumerians and their successors caused rising salt levels which eventually made their agriculture, and hence their civilisations, unsustainable.

      report
    3. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to David Clerke

      @ Peter Sommerville

      A very interesting paper - though a shame it's behind a paywall so can't read the details.

      But what does it mean? It goes to the heart of something that those who study the science already know - that the main uncertainty is to do with climate sensitivity - how much warming will be associated with increased CO2 levels and how fast will it occur. And the paper only indicates that the measured uncertainties in heat flux (more back radiation than was thought which suggests…

      Read more
  7. David Clerke

    Teacher

    Houston we have a problem! I thought before the usual bad mouthing mud slinging that occurs on the blog it would be worth actually looking at what the CSIRO survey asked and what it concluded. Even a quick glance shows that it has broken a fundamental rule of survey data collection. All categories must be discrete and mutually exclusive. You do not have categories men, women and blonds because you will end up with greater than your sample size or your blond category will have both men and women and…

    Read more
  8. James Bush

    primary teacher

    The survey shows a pretty positive future for science. The % of respondents believing that 'climate change' is solely due to human-induced factors has decreased from 50.4% to 44.6%. Going in the right direction at least.
    If the trends continue by now 'climate change is natural' should be the most common answer and we can dedicate research to ameliorating the problems changing climate causes rather than wasting money pretending we can stop it.
    Unfortunately it appears 7% of people apparently think that the earth's climate has been a constant throughout history. I think we can ignore these people and it is unfortunate that they dominate this headline and article.

    report
    1. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to James Bush

      James Bush - What a great example of confusing logic. You seem pleased that science is being ignored, and your proof that man-caused climate change is wrong is based on public opinion.

      Of course almost all normal people know that "climate change" means what is happening now. So your assumption that people assume that the question was about the ancient past is rather novel.

      Posts like yours really make me miss the down-vote button.

      report
    2. James Bush

      primary teacher

      In reply to James Bush

      Michael Wilbur-Ham - The article above is entirely about public opinion. Public opinion does not ignore science, it has not been convinced by the man-made global warming hypothesis. "Normal people" are increasingly dismissing the hyperbolic and catastrophic claims being made by proponents of man-made global warming.
      If you have a problem with surveys of public opinion on climate change then I suggest you contact the authors of the study.

      report
    3. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to James Bush

      James, the interesting question when determining science based on public opinion is which public?

      Do we end up proving that evolution is wrong because of public opinion in the USA whilst also proving that evolution is true because of public opinion in Australia or Europe?

      Public questioning of the science of climate change is only significant in the USA and Australia where not only have the deniers got great press, but climate change had been turned into a battle between the left and right of politics.

      In most of the world the science of climate change is accepted by even the parties of the right, such as now is the case in the UK and Germany.

      So if we are going to use the Western World's public opinion then the science of climate change is the clear winner.

      But why be so Eurocentric? If the public determine what is correct scientifically, then surely we should turn to China and India because as these countries have the most public, they must know better than us.

      report
    4. Account Deleted

      logged in via email @drdrb.net

      In reply to James Bush

      It is revealing that your desire to find a straw man led you to read "largely causing" as "solely causing".

      It's hardly surprising that there would be a decrease in "man made" belief and a rise in other categories in Australia from 2010 til 2011, because that is the timespan that our political/media spin cycle has been consumed with the carbon tax. It's also the time when the latest drought broke.

      Since belief that humans have caused climate change would be linked with supporting action such…

      Read more
  9. Mark Harrigan

    PhD Physicist

    Rarer than we think? Actually I think they are very rare - but disproprotionately represented on TC perhaps.

    John Coochey, John Nicol, Mark Hendrickx, Sprio Vlachos are ferquent posters denying the evidence and the science.

    last year it was Doug Cotton and Tim Curtin (now probably too embarassed to show his face given the laughably silly paper he published). Anthony Cox has shown his head for a while but I'm sure he will be back.

    And a host of others who post disruptibe rubbish every now…

    Read more
    1. Leo Kerr

      Consultant

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      of course they will keep trolling Mark - it's their oxygen - please, I mean in all seriousness - http://theflatearthsociety.org/cms/ - flat-earthers are still with us. It is unthinkable that psuedo-sceptic deniers are going to disappear any time soon - we should embrace them as part of the rich tapestry of insanity that permeates the human species.

      report
    2. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      @ Leo - thanks - gave me a wry smile. Rich tapestry indeed - just that this mob could cause a total unravelling if their foolishness prevails

      report
    3. Tim Scanlon

      Debunker

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      I think there is a level of activism surrounding the deniers, they seem to be active on a number of comment boards. View a few boards and you will find the same few user comments (either the same user handle or a sock puppet) repeated ad nauseum.

      It is hard to disagree with science after all. No matter how much cherry picking, distorting, etc, are done, at some point these deniers become the shunned weirdo at family gatherings and work events. There is a term for this isn't there? Lunatic fringe?

      report
    4. Clifford Chapman

      Retired English Teacher

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Mark Harrison, your comments here are spot on the money. It is the 'increased frequency' that you allude to that I also think is too dangerous and revealing to ignore.

      The sceptics come across to me as being idotic because invariably their main 'argument' is to point to constant climate change over the millenia as if to say, because climate has always changed, ergo its changes now are as 'natural' as they have always been.

      An equally inane analogy with this, in my view, is the issue of species becoming extinct over great passages of time, but with Nature always filling the vacuum created, therefore it 'doesn't matter' if man's behaviour and actions directly cause any animal to become exinct, Nature 'will eventually put it right.'

      report
  10. Peter Sawyer

    human

    Can we cut through all the spin? What the published results actually show is that the number of people who personally believe climate change is a natural phenomenon increased from 40.2% to 43.8% in just twelve months.

    In the same short period the number of people who personally believe it is man-made dropped from 50.4% to 44.6%, and the number of people who personally believe the whole thing is total BS rose from 5.6% to 7.2%. That’s all just in one year.

    Only the totally politicised CSIRO…

    Read more
    1. David Clerke

      Teacher

      In reply to Peter Sawyer

      Actually I re checked Peter's calculation and I make if we start from now as year one in four years seventy per cent of Australians will believe climate change is a natural phenomenum if present trends continue but of course four years will take us beyond two elections. What puzzles me is how alarmists take comfort from these figures.

      report
    2. Account Deleted

      logged in via email @drdrb.net

      In reply to Peter Sawyer

      It's hardly surprising that there would be a decrease in "man made" belief and a rise in other categories in Australia from 2010 til 2011, because that is the timespan that our political/media spin cycle has been consumed with the carbon tax. It's also the time when the latest drought broke.
      Since belief that humans have caused climate change would be linked with supporting action such as a carbon tax, and since the carbon tax (pre-introduction) was very unpopular due to the "broken promise" and…

      Read more
  11. Mark Harrigan

    PhD Physicist

    Have to agree with a number of posters here that the "spin" on the article is a little rich. A few comments

    (1) The basic premise of the article is validated "Australians grossly overestimate the proportion of people who deny that climate change is happening" but
    (2) The proportion who actually thought climate change was happening and was human induced dropped - this should have been mentioned and it invites derision from deniers by not doing so
    (3) For those that deny it is happening and not…

    Read more
    1. Mitch Dillon

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      good reply- and without the derision.
      I'm thinking that if you supplied your primary sources that supplied unequivocal evidence of anthropogenic-induced climate change, then that would be an excellent reply, and actually give rise to a genuinely fact-based discussion.
      cheers.

      report
    2. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      & Mitch

      Mitch - I've provided primary sources more times than I;ve had hot breakfasts. And its all readily available on the internet. But you have to be willibng to read, learn and listen. Those who deny the science never seem to want to do that.

      You could start by visiting this site and wondering about the data?

      http://climate.nasa.gov/keyIndicators/

      report
    3. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      @ Mitch again

      Mitch - it is ridiculous to ask for unequivocal proof of anything in science - such a thing does not exist.

      I've provided many links in the past. The basic physics confirms that CO2 produces more warming - this is well established. As I have just posted eleswhere the question is how warm how fast.

      I am not here to do your work for you - but if you have a genuine open mind a good site is here http://www.skepticalscience.com/

      and a laymans layout here http://www.skepticalscience.com/pics/Human_Fingerprints_1024.jpg

      Read more
  12. David Nutzuki

    logged in via Twitter

    Climate crisis is real all right, really not a crisis and just a new Reefer Madness.
    *In all of the debates Obama hadn’t planned to mention climate change once.
    *Obama has not mentioned the crisis in the last two State of the Unions addresses.
    *Occupywallstreet does not even mention CO2 in its list of demands because of the bank-funded carbon trading stock markets run by corporations.
    *Julian Assange is of course a climate change denier.
    *Canada’s voters had already killed Y2Kyoto with a freely…

    Read more
  13. David Nutzuki

    logged in via Twitter

    *almost all research was on effects not causes.
    *explain tropical fossils under the polar caps if this climate is unigue.
    *science only says it could be a crisis & has never said it will be a crisis.
    *melting does not prove what caused it.
    *it wasn't about a changing climate, it was about controlling it.
    *how many climate blame lab coat consultants does it take to change a light bulb? None but they do have full consensus that it will change.

    report
    1. Dennis Singer

      Student

      In reply to David Nutzuki

      Hi David,

      Not sure if you're on topic...you're just telling us all you don't believe the climate scientists' findings. It must be very difficult for someone like you who has such a firm belief that there is no AGW to see that climate science is scientifically unscathed despite the unprecedented blitz against it in the media over the past few years.

      It is scientifically unscathed because no major credible scientific attacks have taken place. The attacks have mostly been in the form of opinionating…

      Read more
  14. David Clerke

    Teacher

    Hallelujah! People are at last reading the primary data and guess what? It does not say what The Conversation articles says it said. So how many other times does this happen?

    report
  15. Neil Gibson

    Retired Electronics Engineer

    What a crock! Any answer on human influence on climate must be prefaced by the adjective "largely" and of course they got the correct answer for the survey. If they asked whether humans had a large, small or negligible effect on climate they would have a different answer. If they asked the same question using global warming they would get another answer. Requiring an agree-disagree response to such a limited number of questions will always result in a poor result. The term "climate change" was invented when it was obvious that global temperatures were not co-operating with the warmist theories and as such a survey using the term becomes to some extent brand recognition. I am a skeptic but I would agree that the climate changes and that man has as effect on it but I do not subscribe to the catastrophic "climate change" culture. Given that the climate is always changing this was a very silly survey .

    report
    1. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      Igorant Twittery abounds - typicla of someone who denies climate change is to not know what they are talking about. Your post is a great example Mt Gibson.

      The argument "they changed the name" suggests that the term 'global warming' was previously the norm, and the widespread use of the term 'climate change' is now. However, this is simply untrue. For example, a seminal climate science work is Gilbert Plass' 1956 study 'The Carbon Dioxide Theory of Climatic Change' (which coincidentally estimated…

      Read more
    2. Neil Gibson

      Retired Electronics Engineer

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      Mark Harrigan says that I am ignorant and don't know what I am talking about in his ad hominem attack.. Simply googling the terms climate change and global warming from 1990 to the present day indicates the change in number of references to predominately climate change over global warming. Of course this is all now old hat because the new bogeyman is "extreme events" which can cover anything ! Mark is right that climate change papers were presented in the last century but many of them were on global cooling which was the fashion in the 1970's.

      report
    3. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      @ Neil

      You claimed "the term "climate change" was invented when it was obvious that global temperatures were not co-operating with the warmist theories."

      I have comprehensively shown your claim was false by presenting evidence - e.g that the IPCC was named as such when the term "global warming" was still in popular use in the press

      You prentend it was an ad hom attack but cannot admit your error. I still say this demonstrates ignorant twittery - which is not an ad hmonem attack (claiming…

      Read more
    4. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      Neil Gibson:

      "The term "climate change" was invented when it was obvious that global temperatures were not co-operating with the warmist theories"

      Mark proved you were flat out wrong since the term "climate change" was invented way before "global temperatures were not co-operating with the warmist theories". That you ignore that and attempt to shift the goal-posts proves you are just another dishonest denialist.

      report
    5. Neil Gibson

      Retired Electronics Engineer

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      Mark - do you have a parrot called Chris? He seems to be repeating what you are saying. I accept that the term climate change was being used by warmists from the start of the global warming campaign.
      However "global warming" was the predominant meme at the start and that has replaced by "climate change and you can use google to check that. There is now an attempt to shift the focus to "extreme events" as it is difficult to scare people with global warming when they are ass deep in record snow.

      report
    6. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      @ Neil Gibson - you are just endlessly parroting discredited denier arguments.

      But if you prefer to call it global warming that's fine - the evidence clearly supports this

      http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/hansen_17/shifting.gif

      if you bothered to study the science - instead of trolling here - you would discover that the melting arctic ice caps leads to "stalling" in the jet stream which can actually cause snows storms (shifts in cold weather patterns) in unusual locations in the…

      Read more
    7. Neil Gibson

      Retired Electronics Engineer

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      Mark - You are quoting James Hansen's figures to me after he continually changes the past temperature record to achieve global warming. Are you quoting the GISS temperatures as they were in 2000 showing there was no warming in the US or the post 2000 tampered data. You need to display GISS temperatures with a blink diagram as the tampering is continuous.
      http://stevengoddard.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/1998changesannotated.gif?w=500&h=355&h=355
      At least use satellite data which has some degree of respectability.

      report
    8. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      @ Neil Gibson - if you use known denialists as your data source who are known to falsify the data to support their so called skepticism then there is no hoipe for you

      Steven Goddard is a global warming skeptic and guest author at the climate change skeptic blog WattsUpWithThat (WUWT).

      Goddard is known for a 2008 article in The Register where he posited that Arctic Sea ice is not receding and claimed that data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) showing the opposite was incorrect. Goddard later issued a retraction on his statement.

      His temperature record is the falsification

      Desmogblog (http://s.tt/1mnb7)

      report
    9. Neil Gibson

      Retired Electronics Engineer

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      Mark - On the question of global warming causing snowstorms it is amazing that these theories surfaced to explain snowmageddon. Why wasn't the theory widely promoted before this. The answer is that climate "scientists" explain everything in terms of global warming as it is convenient and desperately had to come up with a theory to explain to the public an obvious failure of the doomsday predictions which did not include giant snowstorms when snow was going to be a "thing of the past" The public was already confused by warmist doublethink:
      Global warming causes less rain/more rain.
      Global warming causes less snow/more snow
      Global warming causes more drought/flood

      report
    10. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      Neil Gibson, you expect us to believe a pathological liar like Steve Goddard? What a sick joke.

      report
    11. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      @ Neil - all you posts do is show you wish to deny the science and the evidence. Dialogue is pointless

      report
    12. Neil Gibson

      Retired Electronics Engineer

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      Mark - as usual you attack my source for one post among thousands ( which he retracted).
      You did not answer about Hansen's tampering and the downgrading of the 1930 heat wave in the US.
      Check the pre-2000 GISS figures against the current load of tripe.
      Pre 2000 - http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/hansen_07/
      Current GISS US data : http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/Fig.D.gif
      All Goddard is guilty of is posting Hansen's own data.
      Please now explain your rejection of my post.

      report
    13. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      Neil Gibson:

      "global warming."

      "warming in the US"

      Neil, you are intellectually dishonest for conflating global temperatures and contiguous US temperatures.

      report
    14. Neil Gibson

      Retired Electronics Engineer

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      Mark and parrot both lost for words? Bit tough when you criticize Goddard for posting your own boy's data. I have shown you Hansen's "evidence". What am I denying about that. No matter how sophisticated your computer models are the old "garbage-in garbage-out" applies. Hansen is an activist and his temperature record is hopelessly compromised.

      report
    15. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      Neil Gibson, I'm not surprised you have a problem with other people pointing out your intellectual dishonesty.

      report
    16. Neil Gibson

      Retired Electronics Engineer

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      Chris -I did not conflate anything. Mark quoted Hansen to me and in response i showed that his data is unreliable because of what he had done with the US record . What part of that did you not understand.
      A lot of name-calling but no one explaining Hansen's data tampering . As I said - lost for words.

      report
    17. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      I'd rather be a parrot than dishonestly say:

      "The term "climate change" was invented when it was obvious that global temperatures were not co-operating with the warmist theories"

      report
    18. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      Neil Gibson: "I did not conflate anything"

      I'll quote for you in full:

      "You are quoting James Hansen's figures to me after he continually changes the past temperature record to achieve global warming. Are you quoting the GISS temperatures as they were in 2000 showing there was no warming in the US"

      i.e. conflation of global warming with the US temperature record. Another dishonest trick of argument.

      Neil Gibson: "A lot of name-calling"

      Obviously the truth hurts you when you call fact-statements name-calling.

      report
    19. Neil Gibson

      Retired Electronics Engineer

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      My simple point to Mark when he quoted Hansen as a source was that Hansen was unreliable because he fiddled the US temperature record and I gave examples from NASA itself. No one has refuted those figures.

      report
    20. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      The best we are going to get out of Neil is no disagreement that his claim:

      "he (James Hansen) continually changes the past temperature record to achieve global warming"

      is complete BS.

      By the way, changes to estimates of past temperature anomalies do not amount to "fiddling the US temperature record".

      report
    21. Neil Gibson

      Retired Electronics Engineer

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      The facts are :
      1, In about 2000 Hansen changed the US historical Temperature record massively by lowering the past record.
      2. That change caused an essentially flat US temperature record to show marked global warming

      The learned Chris has responded to this data with an eloquent "BS" but adds that if it did happen then it was OK anyway!
      If that is the best he can do he had better hope that Mark returns soon to help him and give him something clever to say.

      report
    22. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      @ Neil Gibson - I have returned to this thread to find you continue to spread climate denial misinformation. Yet you have not had the integrity to acknowledge the blatant misrepresentation you made in your initial post about "global warming" versus "climate change". Readers can thus make their own judgements about your credibility.

      The issue raise about the apparent discrepancy between the two graphs of US temperature anomaly is a subtle one - which on your past record I doubt you will understand…

      Read more
    23. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      "US temperature record to show marked global warming"

      Gibson, yet another ignorant denialist who thinks the US is the globe.

      report
    24. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      Three days later and the climate denialism of Neil Gibson has gone silent on this thread.

      Being proven utterly wrong about Global Warming versus Climate change as a name he then made his false statements concerning the published science by Nasa of James hansen in relation to US and global temperatures. Again being proven utterly wrong he abandons this thread to post unsubstantiated false claims about AGW on another post.

      Trolling anyone?

      report
    25. Neil Gibson

      Retired Electronics Engineer

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      Hi Mark- You must be missing me! It is difficult for anyone to comment on Hansen's TOBS adjustment as it is a moving target and the adjustments are continually changing. TOBS adjustments can go either way but those made by Hansen's crew go only one way - increased warming slope. The use of dodgy statistical techniques in climate "science" was pioneered by Mann and it seems now to be the norm. Hansen's continual adjustment:
      http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2012/09/23/the-tobs-smoking-gun/
      With…

      Read more
    26. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      Sure Neil - it appears you've not understood a jot of the science. Recycling the Mann issue is just so ho hum - not even worth bothering to respond. Everyone knows this was due to recent tree ring data differing from the actual temperature record - precisely because of climate change.

      And the US figures - even if adjusted, has a miniscule impact on the global picture. Another fact you ignore.

      But then facts are not your forte are they?

      But, if you think you have uncovered a vast conspiracy or mistake by the world's climate sciencetists do please feel free to publish your findings - we ait with baited breath.

      To me you look like another arm chair denialist without a leg to stand on.

      report
    27. Neil Gibson

      Retired Electronics Engineer

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      Mark,
      The US is the best metered country in the world and when it did not agree with the global warming meme it was necessary to "correct " the raw data. But the "corrections" are greater than the quantity being measured making the result in measurement terms , meaningless. You have not commented on this. I see that you are back to appeal-to-consensus (meaningless in true science) and name-calling rather than replying to my post.

      report
    28. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      Neil - you continue to spread false statements

      1) The correction did not impact the global picture
      2) It was not changed to satisfy some "meme" - I have provided links to the reason why NOAA (not NASA, not Hansen) adjusted the baseline due to time of day measurements that introduced a cooling bias
      3) The corrections are NOT greater than what is being measured
      4) The "appela to concensus" as you put it was a requirement for you to get your conculsions (entire evidence free and without substantaion that they are) accepted by the peer reviewed literature - which is how proper science gets done - not by some idiot denilaist spreading falsehoods they do not understand

      report
    29. Neil Gibson

      Retired Electronics Engineer

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      Mark,
      1.I did not comment on the US figures affecting the global record but that if the best metered country in the world showed little warming than it was not a good look for the "consensus,"
      2.You provided links to papers suggesting that it was OK to "correct"data to the same order of magnitude as the anomaly being measured. As a measurement specialist I consider them less than useful.
      3. http://stevengoddard.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/screenhunter_226-sep-23-13-22.jpg?w=640&h=479
      The total range of TOBS adjustment is 1.4 degrees F and NOAA data shows a warming of 1.2 deg F over the same period.
      See http://climvis.ncdc.noaa.gov/tmp/graph-Nov1720:43:189864807128.gif
      4. Science does not work by predictions - it works by making and confirming predictions and the AGW "scientists are lousy at that. The rest is just your name-calling that you resort to when you have nothing more to say.

      report
    30. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      A Neil - you DID raise the US data in relation to claiming Hansen had fudged the data to draw conclusions that the world was warming and the incidence of extreme temperatures was on the rise.

      If you wish to argue that the NOAA should NOT have adjusted the measurments when review of the data showed that they were comparing measurements taken in the afternoon versus the morning then your claim to be being a measurment specialist looks highly specious to me. Only an idiot would not recognise that…

      Read more
    31. Neil Gibson

      Retired Electronics Engineer

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      Mark- I must be getting somewhere because you are name calling again and selectively quoting the Global Warming Bible at Skeptical Science. Even Skeptical Science does not support Hansen's 1998 projections:
      http://www.skepticalscience.com/Hansen-1988-prediction.htm
      When you add in Hadcrut it looks worse!
      http://c3headlines.typepad.com/.a/6a010536b58035970c016765b499f9970b-800wi
      Is this a laughable misrepresentation by Skeptical Science?

      report
    32. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      Getting somewhere Neil? ROTFLMAO - only in the strange parallel universe inhabited by denialists. Your are just continuing to contradict yourself.

      You dismiss the referecnes I provided from SKS as from the "Global Warming Bible at Skeptical Science" despite the fact that if you bothered to look EVERY one of them actually referes to published science.

      THEN you quote them as if they are an authoritative source! LOL aagain.

      Yes, Hansen did get his 1988 prediction wrong. Or at least 2 out…

      Read more
    33. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      Neil Gibson: "At least honest skeptics acknowledge small errors"

      You're not one of those then.

      report
    34. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      Neil Gibson: "I must be getting somewhere because you are name calling again and selectively quoting the Global Warming Bible"

      Amazing, complaining about name calling and then doing it within the very same sentence. You just couldn't make this up.

      report
    35. Neil Gibson

      Retired Electronics Engineer

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      More personal denigration and you still have not answered my query on measurement accuracy where "corrections" are greater than the quantity measured. Why would I not use Skeptical Science as a source for Hansen's predictions even though it is a propaganda site. Neither AGW believer sites or skeptical sites have a monopoly on correct data - it is generally the analysis that differs. Global sea level rise is a new one but of course it had to be "corrected" as well when the marvellous Envisat satellite…

      Read more
    36. Neil Gibson

      Retired Electronics Engineer

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      Chris - I think you are having a comprehension problem. Stick to repeating what Mark says-it works best for you.

      report
    37. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      Neil Gibson: "I think you are having a comprehension problem."

      Look who's talking.

      report
    38. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      Neil Gibson thinks this is global warming, 1923 style: http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/23668813?searchTerm=%22climate%20change%22&searchLimits=

      So the ice managed to clear the Franz Josef islands by the end of August in 1923. Whoopee do Neil. You could easily sail around them on the 6th of August this year, even if you're into cherry picks like dishonest people such as you are: http://polar.ncep.noaa.gov/seaice/analysis/nh/nh12.20120806.gif

      report
    39. Neil Gibson

      Retired Electronics Engineer

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      Chris
      My point is that the ice melt this year was not unprecedented and you seem to agree that it was similar to 1923. Still waiting for comment on measurement accuracies I notice and no comment on the other newspaper articles.

      report
    40. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      Neil Gibson: "you seem to agree that it was similar to 1923"

      Neil seems to think the 6th is near the end of the month. There's no hope for him.

      "the other newspaper articles"

      As if qualitative weather descriptions mean much. Doesn't even realise when he repeats links either.

      Still doesn't realise when he's name calling.

      By the way, why is it that when a "skeptic" changes his temperature record it's a "small error" but when the NOAA changes its temperature record then it's someone else's data tampering?

      report
    41. Neil Gibson

      Retired Electronics Engineer

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      Mark - you are right of course. Computer generated graphs look so accurate and over-rule eye-witness accounts every time. Amazing that all those skeptical denier journalists were writing such heretical stuff nearly a century ago and were obviously funded by big oil.
      When you stop obfuscating you can explain the TOBS accuracy problem .If the SS boys don't have an answer for it you might have to think of one for yourself! Chris definitely won't be much use.

      report
    42. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      @ Neil.

      If you think a single observation from limited geograhpic location from an eye wtitness can be used reliably to detremine acrtic ice extent over an area of millions of square kilometeres - and that somehow this is more reliable than scientific studies - well then I'm not surprised you are in denial about the climate.

      I'm sure nothing will change your view.

      report
    43. Neil Gibson

      Retired Electronics Engineer

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      Still no comment on TOBS accuracy. I guess that you must have studied measurement accuracy somewhere in physics and are embarrassed or maybe the subject was replaced with Computer Generated Claptrap 1 which says to ignore visual evidence. I guess that is the pitiful state of science today. Thanks to you and your sidekick Chris - it has been interesting.

      report
    44. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      Neil is obviously too dumb to realise that "Global Warming Bible" is a name call.

      report
  16. Kim Peart

    Researcher & Writer

    I have come to wonder if there is another form of denial at work, in part driven by the cautious approach of science, but also through not considering the whole picture of the problem.

    As the carbon crisis intensifies, as a society we need to know the brutal truth about what we are heading into, how bad it could get, the plan of action that will actually work and the cost of rising to the challenge.

    When we begin losing the Arctic ice sheet a few decades before the predictions of the climate…

    Read more
  17. Philip Dowling

    IT teacher

    The quote “That journalistic tradition of giving equal eight to both sides of the story is a noble sentiment but it can lead to these consensus effects,” I find troubling.
    I would assert that it is in fact incorrect.
    Rather, most newspaper articles put forward one line of argument or point of view and at most a short comment or denial at the end.
    A quick read of articles about say Eddie Obeid will demonstrate this.

    report
  18. Mitch Dillon

    logged in via Facebook

    But Mark, NASA's (recent) data doesn't answer my question, does it? Could you please show me uneqivocal proof of the anthropogenic origin of these climactic changes?
    I actually have an open mind about the subject, and would suggest that someone as passionate about the issue such as yourself would naturally have more erudite resources at his fingertips.
    Thanks.

    report
    1. Account Deleted

      logged in via email @drdrb.net

      In reply to Mitch Dillon

      Hi Mitch,

      There are a number of different sub-questions tied up in your request. I take it you agree that the temperature is rising, as shown by that NASA page, so I'll skip that bit.

      Q) What's causing the temperature to rise?
      A) Rising levels of greenhouse gases, particularly CO2, in the atmosphere. We know greenhouse gases are rising from worldwide measurements in isolated locations away from point sources (e.g. power plants), of which the most well known is Mauna Loa: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends

      Read more
    2. Kim Peart

      Researcher & Writer

      In reply to Mitch Dillon

      James Haughton ~

      That is a really excellent summing up of the science.

      Do you know if the work has been done on identifying exactly how we could have avoided the carbon crisis, including consideration of human evolution and geopolitics?

      That would be a very valuable pot of information, that may give us a clue of what we should do next.

      Also, is the plan for meeting the carbon challenge on the table and up to the task?

      I get the feeling that the planning is a bit like a fish out of water flipping about as the heat increases with the rising Sun.

      Kim Peart

      report
    3. Account Deleted

      logged in via email @drdrb.net

      In reply to Mitch Dillon

      Hey Kim,

      If you want a completely arbitrary historical point of diversion, I'd say Operation Eagle Claw's failure. If it had succeeded, we'd have had President Carter instead of President Reagan, the solar panels would have stayed on the white house roof, oil prices would probably have been higher due to Iran being in more chaos after the rescue, the oil embargo, and Carter's windfall profits tax on oil companies (which Reagan repealed). It would have been Carter rather than Reagan who was handed…

      Read more
    4. Kim Peart

      Researcher & Writer

      In reply to Mitch Dillon

      James Haughton ~

      Great insights with President Carter.

      His 1977 energy speech resonates for me as the year Professor Gerard K. O'Neill's book ~ 'The High Frontier' ~ was published, summing up the work of his Princeton team mapping out a plan for space development and settlement.

      The key plank in that vision was Dr Peter Glaser's 1968 proposal to construct solar power stations in space for energy, of which O'Neill wrote, "if this development comes to pass, we will find ourselves here on Earth…

      Read more
  19. Spiro Vlachos

    AL

    Methodology:

    "Respondents consisted of a nationally representative sample of 5,036 Australian citizens in 2010 (Time 1 survey), and 5,030 Australian citizens in 2011 (Time 2 survey). A cohort of 1,355 respondents completed both surveys. Respondents completed online surveys through The Online Research Unit (ORU) (http://www.theoru.com/). The ORU is a research-only Internet panel provider with an active database of 300,000 respondents located throughout Australia and New Zealand. The ORU has QSOAP…

    Read more
    1. John Coochey

      Mr

      In reply to Spiro Vlachos

      ABS has many faults but is usually very reluctant to change the wording of questions from one year to another even when wording is found to be less than ideal. This is because comparisons between time periods can become meaningless. This issue did not seem to worry the CSIRO study which used two questions to assess some data. I will give you a pound to a penny that the modified version of the question was asked in the second part of the survey not the first when it was realized it was not getting the required result.

      report
  20. Tim Scanlon

    Debunker

    All I got out of this article was that science was winning.

    Yay science!

    report
  21. John Coochey

    Mr

    Mike Harrigan seems to have the problem he accuses me off, inability to understand English. If the purpose of the CSIRO survey was to find out what proportion of unbelievers were in the population and what people thought that proportion was then it was a waste of public money. What has happened is that when CSIRO found the proportion of believers was declining it changed the question (very naughty) but still got much the same result. But if he were correct on the essential purpose of the survey and subsequent article why does he launch into ad hominum attacks and cite papers in an attempt to convince that hunan induced global warming is actually happening at a significant level?

    report
    1. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to John Coochey

      John - My name is Mark, not Mike, but the confusions is hardly surprising given your track record with inability to read

      The abstract of the study concludes

      "We demonstrate that opinions about climate change are subject to strong false consensus effects, that people grossly overestimate the numbers of people who reject the existence of climate change in the broader community, and that people with high false consensus bias are less likely to change their opinions"

      That is what it is about - the existence of the false consensus effect (a tendency to overestimate how common one’s ‘own’ opinion is). Not about belief or otherwise in climate change.

      report
    2. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to John Coochey

      John Coochey:

      "why does he cite papers"

      Imagine, the nerve of someone citing papers. What appalling behaviour.

      report
    3. John Coochey

      Mr

      In reply to John Coochey

      Now if a survey was done asking how many people voted green and then asked how people thought actually voted green would anyone consider that anything but a farce? If Mark Mike or whatever wish questions to be asked the best form of leadership is by example. I will forgive anyone misinterpreting the original CSIRO paper because it is appallingly presented with some diligence necessary to work out which pie charts refers to current data and which to the previous survey. However some do not seem aware that rates of increase are calculated on the numerator, not the denominator.

      report
  22. Michael Pulsford

    Lecturer, RMIT School Of Art

    Is it just my imagination, or do women have too much sense to get involved in comment threads on climate change articles on The Conversation?

    TC seems more or less gender-balanced when it comes to authorship and editorial staff. The writing produced by that balance is generally pretty well-argued and researched. It's not perfect - what is? - but it's certainly good; I've learnt a lot from reading articles here.

    The comment threads, especially on climate-related articles, seem to be more or…

    Read more
    1. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Michael Pulsford

      Michael Pulsford - Very interesting point about the gender imbalance.

      I think you wrong about what would happen if a genuine person asked a question about the science. I think that the scientifically knowledgable would love the opportunity to inform.

      But in the last few weeks of reading the climate change 'debates' here I don't think I've read a single genuine question about the science.

      The Conversation has been infiltrated by a small group of climate change deniers. Their aim is not to…

      Read more
    2. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Michael Pulsford

      Michael Pulsford: "Is this what you guys want?"

      It's exactly what some people want. And they have been largely successful.

      report
  23. Colin Kline

    logged in via Facebook

    -
    The main factor in "Cilmate Denialism", in this post by Sunanda CREAGH is, as stated :
    "... the proportion of people who deny that climate change is happening..."

    But the "number of people" involved in any movement is a very poor metric to use in gauging the force and effect of that movement.

    Alas, to my knowledge there exists no universally accepted measure of "political force", or "social traction", or "intellectual power".

    Another key factor, that has been omitted by Sunanda, is…

    Read more
  24. Darren Shaw

    OD Consultant

    Claes Janssen in his theories of self censorship notes that their are two phases to denial 1. Unconscious denial 2, Conscious denial. A definition of conscious denial may be when a person is aware they are in denial about an issue but are not yet ready to take responsibility for what ever it is they are in denial about. I suspect that the reason this survey throws up such low numbers for denial is it is essentially asking people about their unconscious denial, where as, the political response we see to climate change (the number of people apposed to action on climate change) may be due to higher numbers of people not yet ready to accept the consequences of climate change, that is, conscious deniers.

    report
  25. Colin Kline

    logged in via Facebook

    Some posters are asking for more fact based claims, and less opinion based claims, regarding Climate Change.

    I hope this list will satisfy that request :

    +++++

    A list of rebuttals of Anti-Global-Warming-Denier-Liar claims.

    1. John RENNIE, ex-editor of Scientific American , who weighs in with:
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=seven-answers-to-climate-contrarian-nonsense

    And here is a persuasive & well presented site, Peter SINCLAIR's "Climate Crock of the Week"
    2…

    Read more
    1. Paul Wigton

      Geologist

      In reply to Colin Kline

      Another wonderful blog--based on peer-reviewed science--is SkepticalScience.com. They have debunked EVERY one of the denialistas' goofy pseudoscientific blorps.

      report
  26. John Coochey

    Mr

    Regarding Colin's list of references he seems to be rebutting his own argument for example the Guardian reference on Himalayagate
    "The WWF has now issued a statement admitting that its report contained "erroneous information" and has apologised for causing confusion. Unfortunately, the error has been repeated by other authors and included in scientific papers. It was also referenced in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report in 2007" and earlier
    "Climate science has suffered another blow to its credibility after it was revealed that a claim by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that Himalayan glaciers will probably disappear altogether in the next 25 years was wrong"

    And this link is supposed to rebut Himalayagate. Are any of the other links worth reading? Time will tell

    report
  27. John Coochey

    Mr

    Once again slowly working through the references given my Colin and I do not know why I am wasting my time watching bad youtubes

    Reference one is a straw man argument saying CO2 must be a greenhouse gas and the mediaeval warm period was a local phenomenum without providing any evidence except unsubstantiated opinion. No one denies CO2 is a greenhouse gas but it ‘s importance is disputed as is shown by the absence of recent temperature rises despite record CO 2 emissions particularly from China…

    Read more
  28. Kim Peart

    Researcher & Writer

    The beauty of climate change denial is the visual ballet of shifting position like a monkey on a hot metal plate.

    The approach is clearly religious and like a good creationist, evidence is irrelevant.

    I'd ask the ardent contrarians how the oceans have become 30% more acidic through the industrial era, but I hate to think how credibility would be tortured there.

    With ocean acidification increasing, maybe when it gets to 50% above pre-industrial levels the reality will start to sink in, with…

    Read more
    1. Clifford Chapman

      Retired English Teacher

      In reply to Kim Peart

      This is a good post, Kim Peart.

      I've noticed on here some cretinous postings about the reasons for the changing of terminology from 'global warming' to 'climate change', as if the reasons for the change were driven by those concerned with global warming but who were running scared, as it were, because not every inch of the planet was experiencing global warming.

      I recall disctinctly that the change in terminology was a political and economic one driven by right-wing forces concerned about the negative connotations of 'global warming'. The interesting revelation here is their implicit admission that nonetheless we are affecting the climate by our economic and industrial practices.

      The real issue here is not even, anyway, climate change per se, but the way mankind looks after and relates to his environment, planet Earth.

      report
    2. John Coochey

      Mr

      In reply to Kim Peart

      Thirty per cent more acidic! That is interesting and how much have fish catches declined? Can we exclude over fishing here. Perhaps if we exclude OECD figures which are a product of overfishing.

      report
    3. Kim Peart

      Researcher & Writer

      In reply to Kim Peart

      Clifford Chapman ~

      Thanks for the compliment.

      I recall that which you site with the naming of the problem, that there was a political motivation.

      With geologists now hankering after a new epoch with the Anthropocene, because the current extinction rate is so great it will show up in the fossil record, I prefer the more general term of Earth change.

      This includes the detail that humanity needs the resources of two Earths to keep our game going, growing to 3 Earths in a short while…

      Read more
    4. Kim Peart

      Researcher & Writer

      In reply to Kim Peart

      John Coochey ~

      Chamberlain believed he got the mis right, with Mr Hitler.

      It was up to Churchill to draw a line in the sand.

      We now face the test of our time, when we decide if we shall allow Earth change to overwhelm us, or get real about our survival.

      Kim Peart

      report
  29. John Coochey

    Mr

    Well if Clifford doesn't like the new vernacular he is free to go back to the old but even that is now out of date the new phrase climate variability or similar. By the way what was the warming over the last sixteen years again. Here is more of the comment from the Guardian on Himalayagate which it was supposed to explain
    "Subsequent authors should have checked the primary source and identified the error earlier. The IPCC in particular should have shown far more scepticism about the extraordinary suggestion that glaciers in the Himalayas, which currently cover more than 30,000 sq km, would probably disappear within three decades."

    On this occasion I agree with the Guardian but why are IPCC reports largely written by lobby groups? Where is the scientific validity?

    report
    1. Clifford Chapman

      Retired English Teacher

      In reply to John Coochey

      Clifford doesn't give a crap about the new, old, ancient, modern, contemporary, trendy, old-fashioned, vogue, fashionable, a la mode, prehistoric terminology because the vocabulary is a straw that only dorks clutch at.

      My fourth paragraph obviously contains the major point I was making - why don't you address that?

      report
  30. Colin Kline

    logged in via Facebook

    Damian Carrington states:

    -
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/damian-carrington-blog/2011/jul/28/ipcc-climate-change-science-pachauri

    In defence of the IPCC: critics ignore the real scandal

    In the greatest ever feat of global scientific cooperation, the IPCC showed the world the reality of climate change. But recent controversies hopelessly ignore the real scandal

    Cumulus clouds in a blue sky
    The IPCC showed the world the reality and danger of climate change, but has come…

    Read more
  31. John Coochey

    Mr

    I am not sure what Clifford is stating other than I am not sure what regarding his fourth paragraph or am I looking at a different post?

    report
    1. Clifford Chapman

      Retired English Teacher

      In reply to John Coochey

      I'll repeat it for you, then, John Coochey, so you are left in no doubt:

      'The real issue here is not even, anyway, climate change per se but the way mankind looks after and relates to his environment, planet Earth.'

      From the post in which you ignored that paragraph but chose, instead, to make a trivial point about the 'vernacular' used, in my opinion, you well reveal how climate change sceptics focus on the irrelevant and smaller pictures and issues.

      report
  32. Colin Kline

    logged in via Facebook

    -
    Yes indeed, there is much imprecision about terms here.

    Does a "Climate Change Denier" deny warming, or deny the IPCC science?
    Does it mean denying "change", in temp., snow, melting, or up/down?
    Is it denying AGW ("Anthropogenic Global Warming", i.e. caused by man)?
    ...

    I propose a unifying term : "Climate Warming Denier Liar",
    viz one who denies climate warming, and who disputes established science facts.

    I propose that all wanting to use this term also study the process, as used by the IPCC, and the LHC teams, of "Bayesian Hypothesis Selection". (This also incorporates "Occam's Razor"). And understand the 5Sigma test used by the latter.

    Then study the Yudkowsky "Least Wrong" principle.

    Perhaps then we may see decent "facts based discussion" about Science, instead of mere opinionating. metrics

    It is absolutely APPALLING that the authors of the OP (and commentators thereupon) appear to have no idea about these rigours of Science.
    -

    report
    1. Kim Peart

      Researcher & Writer

      In reply to Colin Kline

      Colin Kline ~

      Could the contrarians be honoured with silence?

      Our need is to know the real cause of Earth changes (which includes climate change), how this crisis could have been avoided, how bad it could get, what we must do to address it, how swiftly and the real cost of this work.

      When our focus is on a fierce vision to win back a safe Earth, contrarians can join the work effort or be silenced aside.

      Science is not a religion and will live by the power of its veracity in a democratic society.

      When we can be humble enough to face the truth that we have totally failed to keep a safe planet, then we may begin to find our confidence to act on winning back a safe Earth.

      Kim Peart

      report
    2. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Colin Kline

      Colin - you might be interested in this

      http://rationallyspeaking.blogspot.com/2011/10/ethics-of-scientific-inquiry-and-public.html

      It links to discussions by an ethicist Lawrence Torcello about public discourse on matters informed by science - who would label such people as "pseudo skeptics"

      Lawrence Torcello is a prominent ethicist and holder of the Ezra A Hale Chair in Applied Ethics at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York
      -----------------------------------
      Torcello points…

      Read more
    3. John Coochey

      Mr

      In reply to Colin Kline

      Rigours of science
      "“The Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) summarized the evidence in the following terms: ‘‘More intense and longer droughts have been observed over wider areas since the 1970s, particularly in the tropics and subtropics. Increased drying linked with higher temperatures and decreased
      precipitation has contributed to changes in drought’’.

      Now match that against the recent peer reviewed paper that droughts have not increased in sixty years they cannot both be right any more than Tim Flannery right in saying it would take a thousand years for temperatures to decline if all human activity ceased whereas Andy Pitman of the ANU says twenty to thirty. When the Chief Scientist, Ian Chubb, was asked to adjudicate he replied he would not have a clue.

      report
    4. Kim Peart

      Researcher & Writer

      In reply to Colin Kline

      John Coochey ~

      Considering the detail that our star is now 25% hotter than at the dawn of life 3.5 billion years ago and will expand to the orbit of the Earth as a red giant over the next 5 billion years, what should a wise species do?

      The suggestion by Lovelock that in the light of an increasingly hotter Sun, any destabilising of our planet's life support systems runs the risk of sending the Earth into a permanently hotter environment, should be sobering for us all.

      On the basis of the…

      Read more
    5. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Colin Kline

      Coochey: "Tim Flannery right in saying it would take a thousand years for temperatures to decline if all human activity ceased whereas Andy Pitman of the ANU says twenty to thirty"

      Pitman meant "start to decline from the peak" and Flannery meant decline from either the existing level or pre-industrial level.

      report
  33. Paul Wigton

    Geologist

    Ah, I'll get the popcorn, for when the requisite refuting of Gibson's latest Gish Gallop is begun!

    Neil, your libelous accusations against Hansen, in addition to rising to actionable, are so full of misstatements of fact, cherry-picked "facts", and infused with what is you obvious hatred of Hansen that...IT IS NOT EVEN WRONG.

    Let us hope that Hansen will finally do what Mann did, and sue ignoramuses like you. Your kind are *dangerous* to the planet.

    report
    1. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Paul Wigton

      Hi Paul - enjoying your popcorn :)

      Here's the science to refure Gibsons latets denialist cherry picked crock

      http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v479/n7374/full/nature10581.html
      http://www.skepticalscience.com/graphics/Kinnard_2011_sea_ice_med.jpg

      A newspaper article from a personal report claiming a single insland in the arctic MAY have been ice free is evidence, in Mr Gibsons world, that the current record Arctic ice loss is not exceptional.

      http://tamino.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/piomas1.gif

      What a joke. Chris O'neill is only half right. You couldn't make this up - unless, of course, you are Neil Gibson - in which case making stuff up and cherry picking are de rigueur

      report