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No one likes to change their mind, not even on climate

Last night’s ABC documentary I Can Change Your Mind About Climate was about two people — conservative former politician Nick Minchin and youth activist Anna Rose — exposing themselves to information that…

People put up all kinds of psychological barriers to changing their minds. Thomas Galvez

Last night’s ABC documentary I Can Change Your Mind About Climate was about two people — conservative former politician Nick Minchin and youth activist Anna Rose — exposing themselves to information that ran counter to their deeply held beliefs. We know from both research and experience that people cling to information that is in line with their beliefs and worldviews, even when they suspect or even know the information to be false. In other words, people will defend their beliefs. To do so they engage in “motivated reasoning”.

There can be various reasons for motivated reasoning. People might be defending their beliefs in an attempt to protect their feelings of identity and self-worth. Your deepest beliefs about the world define who you are, and hence you need to defend them to defend yourself.

On the other hand, people sometimes publicly defend their beliefs even though they know they are wrong. It could be an attempt to rationalise irrational behaviour, or justify decisions that are in actual fact driven by vested interest or a hidden agenda.

Using the documentary, let’s have a closer look at the strategies people use to defend their beliefs and purport rationality.

Denial

A brute strategy, of course, is outright denial. One can either deny the evidence (for example, Minchin’s claims that “there is no empirical evidence” and that science is “just opinion”) or one can deny the possibility of change (Minchin’s “even if it were true we couldn’t change it” attitude).

These are the more basic tools to defend one’s worldview, and they are usually quite easy to counteract by — you guessed it — presenting the evidence or the necessary course of action. Only a few people then continue with outright denial; in the face of clear evidence it can only be upheld by reverting to conspiracy theories, for example that the world’s climate scientists have conspired to “conceal the evidence” (former carbon modeller David Evans, who appeared in the show) in an attempt to somehow take over the world. (Remember, it was scientists who brought you vaccinations, the internet, weather forecasts, clean water, antibiotics …)

Counter-arguing

A more sophisticated approach to defend one’s views is counter-arguing. Rational counter-arguing is a great tool, and it’s basically what scientists do all the time.

The problem arises when people start counter-arguing established facts. You can argue all day that you have found a special apple that won’t drop to the floor when you release it, but that won’t change the laws of gravity.

Evans’ counter-arguing of temperature measurements as inaccurate (because they could be influenced strongly by local factors such as airport traffic) might seem reasonable, but it was exposed by Professor Richard Muller as flawed.

Cherry-picking

As pointedly noted by Yale scientist Anthony Leiserowitz, one of the main players in motivated reasoning is the confirmation bias. That is, we tend to pay more attention to information that reinforces our attitudes than to information that is at odds with our beliefs and decisions.

This is a normal tendency — if you just bought a new car you will eagerly read a positive review, and pat yourself on the back about the great purchasing decision you have made. You will ignore the negative aspects in the review (who needs a full-size spare anyway?).

When you look at only a little bit of the picture, that’s cherry picking.

However, the confirmation bias becomes a real worry when people consciously take this bias to another level, and cherry pick data to purposely mislead. When you cherry pick data, you are not really lying — for example, by saying the image above shows Mr Bean — but you are selectively focusing on what fits your cause, and ignoring the rest. So while the image does show Mr Bean (have you found him?), most people would agree that that’s not an accurate description of the full picture.

In the documentary, a graph presented by Evans was a prime example of cherry picking. It showed eight years of relatively constant upper-ocean temperatures while:

  1. not showing the dramatic rise in upper-ocean temperatures in preceding decades, and

  2. ignoring all the heat building up in deeper waters. (When you consider the full ocean, we see a steady build-up of heat.)

All of blogger Marc Morano’s arguments (dropping sea levels, growing Arctic sea ice, falling temperatures) were just that, cherry picking. One ice shelf growing is not evidence for a cooling trend if there are 100 other ice shelves shrinking at the same time.

Misuse and misinterpretation of uncertainty

One of Minchin’s main points was that climate science does not provide sufficient evidence to make us act. This could be a purely strategic move to inflate the perceived uncertainty in order to avoid or at least delay the socio-economic implications of climate change. (Professor Naomi Oreskes makes this point in an out-take of the documentary, which you can watch here.) But if we assume that Minchin really believes what he is saying, it demonstrates the fundamental flaws people show when dealing with uncertainty.

Absolute certainty is a rare thing. We like it, but it is rare. Yes, we will all eventually die; yes, the sun will rise tomorrow (it will, right?) and yes, if you hit the freeway on a Monday at 5pm you will see other cars there (unless perhaps the sun didn’t rise).

But really, when we speak about the predicted behaviour of any complex system, there is no such thing as absolute certainty. Waiting for 100% certainty before you act is hence a fallacy, but if you want to defend your beliefs you can play the uncertainty card in many contexts. You can smoke in your car with your kids in the back seat, arguing that the link between passive smoking and cancer is not 100% certain. That may even be true, but what is certain is that you wouldn’t be doing your kids a favour.

The argument that there is not enough certainty to act carries another fallacy: our tendency to assume that uncertainty is uni-directional. Minchin obviously takes the probability that the climate models’ predictions could be wrong to mean that there’s a good chance that it will all be fine.

Of course, stating there’s a 90% chance that Earth’s temperature will increase by 3±1.5 degrees Celsius over the next 70 years does not mean there’s a 10% chance that everything will stay the same — because things could also be worse than predicted, a risk that is commonly neglected when defending one’s beliefs.

Together, the misuse and misinterpretation of uncertainty often combine to justify doing nothing. But of course, doing nothing is also an active choice. Delaying action until there is “sufficient” evidence is as much a decision and an action as the arguably more rational choice to act according to the best available estimates.

Ironically, people will take politicians’ inaction to imply that there is no problem — if they’re not doing anything, then it can’t be serious. This flawed backward reasoning is known as inferred justification and often contributes to the perpetuation of false beliefs.

Discrediting the information source

While Rose’s refusal to engage with a condescending Morano is perhaps understandable, calling him a “Republican attack dog” rather than publically exposing some of his aggressively made claims is an example of an ad hominem argument. Typically, people use this when they cannot (or in this case: choose not to) address the opponent’s arguments: ignore the arguments and attack the person.

Another discrediting strategy is ridiculing your opposition. Examples were blogger Joanne Nova loudly laughing at Rose suggesting climate change may have severe consequences, or Minchin cracking a joke when a farmer expressed existential fears about the consequences of rising CO₂ on him and fellow farmers (“it’s plant food, mate”).

The perhaps most creative way to discredit your opponent is to turn things on their head and accuse your opposition of what you are doing yourself. In psychology, such behaviour is called projection. Morano telling Rose to “re-examine [her] conscience” was probably the funniest moment of the documentary (in a disturbing way). Minchin denying the existence of empirical evidence but accusing Rose of “ostrich behaviour” when she refused to engage with Morano was another example.

Deflection

Finally, changing the topic when you fear you are losing the argument is a common strategy to defend your beliefs. In a passionate outburst, Minchin accused Rose of deflection after their conversation with Professor Richard Lindzen — during which Rose brought up Lindzen’s denial of the health effects of tobacco.

It was a clear case of deflection. But knowing that Lindzen, one of the very few climate scientists doubting man-made climate change, has also been doubting the link between tobacco smoke and lung cancer does seem somehow relevant. But the deflection was not the only reason Minchin was getting so worked up — he, too, is on the record for questioning the adverse effects of tobacco smoke.

I can’t change your mind about climate, can I?

What this tells us is that hardcore believers have many ways to cling to their beliefs and rationalise this behaviour even in the face of overwhelming evidence that their beliefs are wrong. So once the science is settled - and in the case of climate change it really has been for quite a while now - it is actually a really good idea to move on and discuss and implement a course of action (as also suggested by UK conservative Zac Goldsmith), rather than trying to convince the unconvincible.

Join the conversation

125 Comments sorted by

Comments on this article are now closed.

  1. Tim Scanlon

    Author and Scientist

    It was for the reasons discussed above that I felt the documentary last night achieved nothing.

    I felt that a qualified extension person could have addressed a lot of the issues raised. Evan's claims have been debunked and most climate activists would be aware of his writings and could address them. Monroe trotted out a Gish-Gallop or rubbish, this would have been a chance to highlight the technique and quickly counter claim, rather than not engage. Linzden could have just been addressed directly, because feedbacks may not be fully understood, but his estimates are still not enough to stop massive changes.

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  2. Daryl Deal

    retired

    To me, after watching the show, it was really a sham attempt of fair and balanced, Faux Noose style.

    Whilst we all should know, real science is purely about emotion free facts and evidence.

    Now, the evidence supporting global warming is rock solid and irrefutable. The science of Green House Gases and global warming has withstood all validation and fallibility tests since the pioneering days of Joseph Fourier, John Tyndall and Svante Arrhenius in the nineteenth century.

    JoNova and husband…

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    1. Timothy Curtin

      Economic adviser

      In reply to Daryl Deal

      Daryl Deal (like John Cook and his sidekick) is quite wrong when he says
      “the evidence supporting global warming is rock solid and irrefutable. The science of Green House Gases and global warming has withstood all validation and fallibility tests since the pioneering days of Joseph Fourier, John Tyndall and Svante Arrhenius in the nineteenth century”. In particular he overlooks what Tyndall actually found in his physical laboratory experiments (NOT by mathematical or computer modelling) that examined…

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    2. Matthew Albrecht

      Postdoctoral Researcher at Curtin University

      In reply to Timothy Curtin

      I don't get what H20 being 6 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas has to do with Cook et al., being wrong? Who's trying to prevent evaporation? Why would you say that Cook denies that photosynthesis involves atmospheric CO2? Why do you think there's a simple relationship between CO2, precipitation and photosynthesis - Do you disagree with current notions that some areas will get wetter while others will get drier, or is everywhere going to get wetter?

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    3. Timothy Curtin

      Economic adviser

      In reply to Matthew Albrecht

      Matthew Albrecht commented:
      "I don't get what H20 being 6 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas has to do with Cook et. al. being wrong?”

      Why not? Cook & co earn their living by demonising the wholly innocent gas CO2, responsible as it is for all life on this plant, including unfortunately for the rest of us, if not the likes of Cook and yourself.

      Then Matthew asks: “Who's trying to prevent evaporation?”

      That’s very easy: according to the IPCC (Solomon et al 2007), evaporation…

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    4. Matthew Albrecht

      Postdoctoral Researcher at Curtin University

      In reply to Timothy Curtin

      Hi Tim, I had a quick look at your paper. Can you clarify that the difference between the analysis in tables 1 & 2 is that table 1 is the straight Regression of GMT on CO2 and the analysis in table 2 is the Regression of changes in GMT on change in CO2. I.e., the second table is correlating the differences between year[x] from year[x-1] for both CO2 and GMT? And do you have the Breusch & Vahid 2011 paper that you reference for this method? Clicking the link gave a dead page and I could only find the 2008 version, or is that it?

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    5. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Matthew Albrecht

      Matthew - Tim Curtin can't even correctly calcuate how much Power is required to boil a kettle of water (as he showed repeatedly on this thread https://theconversation.edu.au/state-of-the-climate-2012-5831 where he said "a typical kettle needs 1,000 Watts to boil for an hour, and 50 Watts to get to boil for the 3 minutes" (the correct answer is that you need about 1900W to boil a litre of water from room temperature in 3 minutes)

      So:

      He can't even correctly calculate the power requirements…

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    6. Daryl Deal

      retired

      In reply to Timothy Curtin

      Thank you Tim, for having shown us all, an excellent example of cognitive dissonance, faulty fuzzy cherry picked logic and how to lose the argument, by failing to understand the basic principles of the nature of peer reviewed science in the real world.

      I reiterate, the science of global warming is rock solid and irrefutable, any attempt to abuse it, to apply selective cherry picked fuzzy logic and ignore the reality of the real world, is always doomed to fail.

      Let me introduce you to the science…

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    7. Timothy Curtin

      Economic adviser

      In reply to Matthew Albrecht

      Matthew, yes, Table 1 is a univariate regression of GMT on radiative forcing by [CO2], and as the Durbin-Watson statistic shows, the correlation implied by the t-statistic is spurious because of auto-correlation.

      Yes again, Table 2 follows the recommendations of Stern et al and many others that to avoid spurious correlation, one should correlate changes in the variables rather than absolute values. The outcome as my paper shows is that the D-W is OK but now the t-statistic indicates no statistically significant correlation.

      I do have the Breusch & Vahid paper, email me at tcurtin<at>bigblue.net.au and I will forward it to you – but be aware that they do not perform any regressions.

      Regards

      Tim

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    8. Timothy Curtin

      Economic adviser

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Mark H, disingenuous as ever! I stated early on that Trenberth's solar incolation of 0.9 W/sq.metre was not enough to boil a kettle. You rubbished me as usual, yet the fact is that 0.9 W/sq.metre produces only 162 Watts over 3 minutes needed to boil the kettle, and you now concede it takes much more than that, at 1900.

      AS for LLGHG, do write a scholarly paper showing why Tyndall was wrong when he found that [H2O] was a 6 times more potent absorber than [CO2]:

      In examining the separate effects…

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    9. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Timothy Curtin

      There's nothing disingenous about pointing out Tim Curtin's quote was idiotically wrong - especially when he purports to overturn established climate science

      Tim said "In brief, it requires 50 Watts to get a kettle to boil in 3 minutes, "

      This is wrong by a factor of about 38.

      Tim Curtin has no idea what he is talking about - especially on climate
      .
      \He seems to think everything can be reduced to LSR - a curve fitting technique that can be used to show correlation (or not) between almost anything depending on how you manipulate the data and the anaylsis.

      Climate Science depends on an understanding of the actual physical processes involved - something which Tim Curtin has routinely shown he knows less than nothing.

      He is a pseudo-skeptic climate science denier attempting to spread misinformation about climate when he can't even work out the basics.

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    10. Timothy Curtin

      Economic adviser

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      But the great physicist Mark Harrigan said on 25th April that to boil a kettle "the correct answer is talk about how much power is involved and the answer is 459 Terra Watts of power or 459,000,000,000,000 Joules every second.” Wow! Truly Einstein has been born again!

      Marc is right in spades when he says of Harrigan: ""Richard Feynman stated: 'The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.'"

      Harrigan is demonstrably the biggest fool in Christendom since James VI and I.

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    11. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Timothy Curtin

      Now Tim Curtin has to resort to outright false statements to avoid admitting his error.

      Tim said " What tosh! How much heat is delivered by 0.9 W per sq. metre? Not enough to boil a kettle!" to try and belittle how much the energy imbalance impacted the planet.

      I answered

      "Well Tim the correct answer is talk about how much power is involved and the answer is 459 Terra Watts of power or 459,000,000,000,000 Joules every second."

      Readers can form their own judgement as to who is the fool or knave here?

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    12. Matthew Albrecht

      Postdoctoral Researcher at Curtin University

      In reply to Timothy Curtin

      Thanks Tim,
      I'm a bit worried that your method of dealing with autocorrelation fails to detect trends for instances when there is no autocorrelation. When I simulate this method with two time series that have no autocorrelation but with an almost perfect relationship between the two series, the first-order difference of both time series completely removes the trend. Your method is essentially working as a high-pass filter, and it would be better to model these processes as an "ar" or "arma" model…

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    13. Timothy Curtin

      Economic adviser

      In reply to Matthew Albrecht

      Many thanks Matthew, you raise some interesting issues.

      Last point first, I do not agree when you say that “short term fluctuations in climate are associated with H2O while the long term changes are associated with CO2.” Ironically, short term i.e. intra-year NH (and global land surface) temperatures are inversely related to CO2, with causation from summer heat to REDUCED [CO2] (Keeling 1996), because of [CO2] fertilisation, while my long term annual data (1960-2006) at hundreds of locations in…

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    14. Matthew Albrecht

      Postdoctoral Researcher at Curtin University

      In reply to Timothy Curtin

      Thanks for your response Tim,
      I should also thank you for getting me onto time series analysis proper, I needed to do it eventually and as a consequence I think I've learned a useful tool that will be beneficial for some of my own analysis (I've largely stuck to time-frequency decompositions like wavelets, not so much trends).

      I decided to ask a question about this on a statistics minded forum that is frequented by a good number of time series experts http://stats.stackexchange.com/questions/27748/relationship-between-two-time-series-arima

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  3. Colin MacGillivray

    Architect, retired, Sarawak

    Which nations have reduced CO2 output since Kyoto? - none.
    Will anything stop the 3 degree rise forecast in the next 70 years? -no.
    Will anyone reading this discussion be here in 70 years? -no.

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    1. Frederick Stark

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Colin MacGillivray

      I might be, and I have quite a few friends who will be!

      When(if) I have children, they will almost definitely be here in 70 years.

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    2. Daryl Deal

      retired

      In reply to Colin MacGillivray

      A most interesting fact free denial canard, one that has been thoroughly debunked in the real world.

      Now let us see, some real facts from the real world in the form of a simple 'google search' of Kyoto Protocol.

      Increase in greenhouse gas emissions since 1990 : http://www.chemeurope.com/en/encyclopedia/Kyoto_Protocol.html#Increase_in_greenhouse_gas_emission_since_1990

      Which major leading European industrial nation, with a strong export base of manufactured goods, such as cars, including the strongest clean energy policy, leads the pack? And the answer is Germany.

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    3. Ian Ashman

      Manager

      In reply to Colin MacGillivray

      Colin, keep that head firmly planted in sand. Being retired, you dont have much to worry about - the problem is passed on to future generations. You will be nice and warm and cozy in the soil when the real effects hit.

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    4. Philip Dowling

      IT teacher

      In reply to Daryl Deal

      Daryl, I wonder if you knew of a rather significant event involving Germany that occurred in 1990?

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    5. Colin MacGillivray

      Architect, retired, Sarawak

      In reply to Colin MacGillivray

      Hi guys, I was trying to point out how little is being done and why.
      Thanks Daryl for the link, it was good to see Germany France and UK doing something right but without the US, China and India CO2 will continue to increase. We all know this.
      My question about being dead in 70 years is intended to point out the problem of politics being about 3 years not centuries.
      I am not a complete prick- I stood for parliament in NZ for the first Green Party- Values in 1972.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Values_Party

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    6. Philip Dowling

      IT teacher

      In reply to Philip Dowling

      Daryl,
      To stop you worrying further about the correct answer.
      The answer is the reunification of Germany. This allowed the old, inefficient East German factories to be included in the baseline carbon dioxide level.

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    7. Philip Dowling

      IT teacher

      In reply to Frederick Stark

      But not if there is catastrophic global warming.

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    8. Philip Dowling

      IT teacher

      In reply to Colin MacGillivray

      I also stood for parliament in Australia - as an independent.
      I could reconstruct your paragraph that contains the term prick to be internally consistent and grammatically correct.
      However I am not sure that some people might consider this appropriate as it might draw attention to the lack of literacy of tertiary educated persons.
      It gives me hope that my second daughter might make it to university.

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    9. Stephen Tanner

      traveller

      In reply to Philip Dowling

      Dear Phil

      Apparently you stood for the unregistered Climate Sceptics Party. Do you usually hold 1 man (Independant) parties? They must be lots of fun.

      I would quote your previous comments that contain numerous grammatical errors however you may enjoy finding them yourself.

      If you made it to Uni. then your daughters a safe bet. If your quotes regarding her are correct then she's an idiot (unlikely) or exhibits a cunning that unlike yourself may make it in politics.

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    10. Philip Dowling

      IT teacher

      In reply to Stephen Tanner

      Stephen,
      Just for the record. The Climate Sceptics Party was unable to gain registration before the by-election. Bill KOUTALIANOS was the candidate who ran as an Independent.
      I also ran as an opponent of a carbon tax but unlike some of the other candidates including the Liberal candidate, I had lived in the electorate for a substantial period of time.

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    11. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Daryl Deal

      Daryl, I think Colin is simply pointing out that we've not done a good job to date of repairing the damage we've wrought.

      Not only is it extremely likely that few of us will be around to revisit this page on 70 years' time, but the collective failure that Colin summarises means that the ranks of our heirs and successors will also be greatly diminished thanks to that same failure.

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    12. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Philip Dowling

      A longer explanation of how and why you're wrong follows.

      Earth is warmed by absorbtion of short wave sunlight. Because of this, Earth's temperature can remain unchanged by returning the same amount of energy to space. That is, solar shortwave energy is balanced by the earth re-radiating to space as a 'black body' radiator with a characteristic temperature of ~255K; that is, from space the earth's spectrum is roughly that of a radiating body with an optical surface temperature of around 255K…

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    13. Ian Ashman

      Manager

      In reply to Philip Dowling

      Ah, The Climate Septics...now it all makes sense. Not your usual brand of troll, an ideological troll wearing a tinfoil hat!

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    14. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Philip Dowling

      Pedantry concerning an opponent's lack of adherence to grammatical norms is fun to read but would probably constitute a strawman attack.

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    15. Philip Dowling

      IT teacher

      In reply to David Arthur

      I stopped when I got to absorbtion. Did you mean absorption?
      Just asking.
      I have read some many chemistry and physics textbooks that I could never forget how to spell absorption.

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    16. Philip Dowling

      IT teacher

      In reply to Citizen SG

      Agreed.But congratulations on a sentence that Sheldon Cooper would have been proud to utter.

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    17. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Philip Dowling

      Any excuse to avoid cognitive dissonance eh Mr Dowling? Can't have your pseudo-skeptic deniliats views compromised by logic and evidence now can we? Why not hide behind an apparent spelling mistake!

      "Just aksing" - the classic passive agressive approach to hide a snide criticism. There are typos and spellers on TC posts Mr Dowling. Deal with it

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    18. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Mr Dowling has pointed out my spelling error, for which I am grateful.

      I do not recall my Physical Chemistry tutors ever pointing this out to me.

      Other than that, I note that Mr Dowling can find no fault in the description I have provided; much as he can look forward to reading my corrected spelling hereafter, I look forward to his recantation of his erroneous views regarding the effects on climate of human industrial activity.

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    19. Citizen SG

      Citizen

      In reply to Philip Dowling

      I had to look up Sheldon cooper, thinking initially that he was the advertising exec from Mad Men. Sadly the point of your comparison is lost on me.

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    20. Philip Dowling

      IT teacher

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Ever the pedant, I found that the Oak Ridge National (US) Laboratory Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center has a number of "dead" urls. In particular, the impact of coal consumption in China in the 1800's seems not to be properly documented. Human error or ethnocentrism? Any advice would be appreciated.

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    21. Grendelus Malleolus

      Senior Nerd

      In reply to Philip Dowling

      "I found that the Oak Ridge National (US) Laboratory Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center has a number of "dead" urls. In particular, the impact of coal consumption in China in the 1800's seems not to be properly documented. Human error or ethnocentrism? Any advice would be appreciated."

      Any links in particular? My best advice is email their webmaster and identify the dead links. Also they are a very helpful research group and will send you information if you ask for it.

      People use the internet all wrong - you don't have to stop at a dead link when there is a human with knowledge!

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    22. Philip Dowling

      IT teacher

      In reply to Grendelus Malleolus

      Oh, silly me.
      I thought that the Internet was designed for the accessing, and retrieval of information without the need for human intervention, and for the automating of tasks without the need for human intervention.
      It is one of the roles of webmasters to make sure that there are no dead links.
      Quality assurance and product testing and change control techniques should ensure this problem does not occur.

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    23. Grendelus Malleolus

      Senior Nerd

      In reply to Philip Dowling

      Or feedback from users - hence the usual "contact webmaster" links on most sites.

      "I thought that the Internet was designed for the accessing, and retrieval of information without the need for human intervention, and for the automating of tasks without the need for human intervention."

      The task of adding and modifying information always ends with a human - as an IT teacher I thought you would undersand that better than most?

      In any case that is dodging the point - if you were really keen on obtaining the information you can do so. To blame it on dead links exhibits an intellectual laziness.

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  4. Byron Smith
    Byron Smith is a Friend of The Conversation.

    Ministry assistant, ecologcal ethicist and PhD candidate at University of Edinburgh

    The clip of Prof Naomi Oreskes mentioned in the article is definitely worth watching. Pity it wasn't included in the final show, which I agree was pretty thoroughly disappointing in its journalistic approach. The highlight was when Ben Goldacre turned on the very editorial approach of the programme to critique (quite amusingly if a little crassly) its false balance. He appears at around the 50 minute mark.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=7ZQNiDIBxO4

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  5. Ian Ashman

    Manager

    Ullrich and John, thanks for an excellent article. Those that want some facts should head over to /www.skepticalscience.com

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    1. In reply to Ian Ashman

      Comment removed by moderator.

  6. James Jenkin

    EFL Teacher Trainer

    Since this article is ostensibly about people's reasoning and motivations - not climate change - it would have been interesting to look at both Minchin and Rose's use of, and responses to, evidence.

    Even if someone is right (as the authors clearly assume Rose is), that does not mean their reasoning is sound.

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  7. terry lockwood

    maths/media/music/drama teacher

    No-one likes to admit to being wrong. I wonder if it is possible to find a way to provide a soft landing for people who change their mind. I remember Richard Dawkins relating a story how as a young man he witnessed a professor who marched up to some young researcher who had just categorically disproved the line of thinking the professor had held for years. Dawkins was hugely impressed. What a show of guts from the professor. What a testimony to rational argument. But how many of us are thus capable…

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    1. Toby James

      retired physicist

      In reply to terry lockwood

      I think that if you've got a closed mind then being wrong can be a difficult situation to face.

      Anna is a self-confessed activist, so in her case suddenly finding out that she's wrong would be a major problem for her. The modus operandi of activists simply does not include open mindedness.

      But a scientist, who is objectively studying the ways of Nature in order to uncover the underlying principles relating to some complex process, has to get used to being wrong. That's how progress in science is made.

      Its only by discovering that our initial position, on some question, does not accord with the facts that progress is made. Examples abound!

      Discoveries which led to radar at the airport, antibiotics and the ability to forcast the motions of the planets did not come from people who took 120 year old theories, set them in concrete and elevated their status to that of high dogma.

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    2. Philip Dowling

      IT teacher

      In reply to Toby James

      For Anna it would not be a problem it would not be a problem if a aprticular cause was shown to be flawed.
      She would simply move onto the next.
      GetUp has done exactly this on a number of occasions.
      If the twitter posts, the facebook friends, and most importantly the individual donations and the corporate sponsors dry up, they simply move on.

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    3. Ian Ashman

      Manager

      In reply to Philip Dowling

      As usual, Philip, you avoid the evidence, you avoid the main argument and you play the man, not the ball.

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    4. Philip Dowling

      IT teacher

      In reply to Ian Ashman

      My post on Anna Rose is based on her blog and other material on websites that she is associated with.
      She is certainly not studying mathematics nor physics.

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  8. Philip Dowling

    IT teacher

    "Does this make my bum look big?" is a question that is often asked. Most men know that there is only one correct answer to this.
    Most men will simply give the hoped for answer because of the demand characteristics of the social situation, despite often thinking the opposite or thinking more about which brand of beer or wine will be served at the forthcoming social occasion.
    Many polls about climate change are of this nature.
    Even worse is the question "Have you stopped beating your wife yet…

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    1. Philip Dowling

      IT teacher

      In reply to Lennert Veerman

      Lennert,
      Thank you for your reasoned and carefully thought out response.
      I was not surprised that you might have read my post in the manner that you did.
      While I have an analysis to mind of why I expected it, I would not want to post anything that might cause an issue for somebody with a rather brittle sense of their self-esteem.

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    2. In reply to Ian Ashman

      Comment removed by moderator.

    3. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist: The Con is a bad Monty Python sketch, for climate sense see: http://www.thegwpf.org/

      In reply to Philip Dowling

      Thanks for your thoughts Philip. A few open minded minded individuals who frequent this website appreciate alternate opinions, especially those that originate outside the echo chamber of academia.
      Note, as they are nurtured in sheltered environments the egos here are egg shell thin, and prone to fracture at the slightest movement, as you appear to have discovered,

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    4. Philip Dowling

      IT teacher

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      Marc,
      I must admit that I have been disappointed to date.
      My teenage daughters show more spirit, more eloquence and more logic than I have encountered in the majority of the posts on this site.
      Whenever they ask for ideas on assignments, they list them all and then go through them and cross off the ones that are not politically correct, saying as they do "All my friends agree with you, but we know that it will upset my teacher."
      I can remember a very opinionated teacher that I had in high school, but he was more intent on teaching logical argument than in having us follow him as unthinking disciples.

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    5. Matthew Thredgold

      Software Engineer/Secondary Teacher

      In reply to Philip Dowling

      "Politically correct" are weasel words. Care to give us an example of what was too off-limits for a high-school assignment so we can judge the ideas on their merits?

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    6. Ian Ashman

      Manager

      In reply to Philip Dowling

      My guess is your teenage daughters would be profoundly ashamed of your views and your inability to cogently present your arguments.

      Apart from the usual denialist insults, misdirections and outright distortions, you have presented nothing of value to this debate.

      However, in one sense you have succeeded. You views have been posted and you and Marc can now scuttle off to whatever climate change denial website you normally haunt and brag about how manfully you fought against the evil 'greenies' and 'academics' and 'lefties'. What a shallow life you must live.

      Troll.

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    7. Philip Dowling

      IT teacher

      In reply to Matthew Thredgold

      1. Any criticism of Gough Whitlam, or his economic management or his ministers.
      2.Any questioning of "AN Inconvenient Truth" as proven science.
      3. Any questioning of "Rabbit-proof Fence" as other than a documentary.
      4. Any questioning of the right of Aboriginal people to be called blacks as opposed to Indians or Africans.
      5. Any questioning of the idea that anybody other than Caucasians can be racist.
      6. Any questioning of the idea that FGM does not occur in Australia and is perpetrated on girls born in Australia.

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    8. Philip Dowling

      IT teacher

      In reply to Ian Ashman

      When I am tired, I tend to post the odd comment here.
      I post under my correct name.
      When I have few minutes earlier in the day, I normally pop off a thought or two to the SMH or The Australian.
      Over Christmas 2010, I jagged the double - on different topics.
      No boast. No big deal. Just a bit of an intellectual challenge.

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  9. Craig Somerton

    IT Professional

    The main problem I have with programs like this is the media's supposed need to present both sides equally for the sake of "balance".

    If 98% of climate scientists say the world is warming and 2% do not, giving the 2% equal status is disingenuous to the volume of evidence and expertise applied to the case.

    This false need for balance is largely the reason why so many people believe the argument is not settled.

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    1. Philip Dowling

      IT teacher

      In reply to Craig Somerton

      Craig,
      It puzzles me that as an IT person you would use an argument that suggested that democracy was a good way to construct reality.
      Do you use surveymonkey or polldaddy as a surrogate for your decision-making responsibility of a network?
      I argue to my students that dictatorship - albeit utilising appropriate delegation - is the way to go.

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    2. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Philip Dowling

      Good point Philip.

      However, when the vast majority of people are non-cognisant on a topic, it males a certain amount of sense to pay attention to what the people who know what they're talking about.

      The following might help.

      1. Sun irradiates earth with short-wave energy.
      2. Earth re-radiates long-wave energy.
      3. Greenhouse gases retard transmission of long-wave energy, not short-wave energy.
      4. Greenhouse gases thus regulate earth's temperature. Altering atmospheric greenhouse gas…

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    3. Philip Dowling

      IT teacher

      In reply to David Arthur

      I appreciate that you have gone to considerable trouble to make some qualitative statements that you have gone to the trouble of numbering. This appears to be the limit of your mathematical knowledge, Many physicists are numerate and prefer to use units to indicate scale.
      1. Sun irradiates earth with short-wave energy. Numbers ? Units?
      2. Earth re-radiates long-wave energy. Numbers? Units?
      3. Greenhouse gases retard transmission of long-wave energy, not short-wave energy. Some clarification of…

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    4. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Philip Dowling

      Mr Dowling could look this up if wanted to be educated rather than a pseudo-scpetic climate science denialist.

      I'll answer just a few 1) 341Wm-2 (102 refeclted from TOA and surface leaving 240 to warm the planet - 78 to the atmosphere, 161 to the surface)

      2) Surface radiates 396Wm-2 (- 40WM-2 through the atmpospheric window to space, 356 absorbed by the GHGs in the atmosphere

      3) Back radiation 333 Wm-2 (199Wm-2 goes to space - producing total space bound of 239Wm-2) -so atmosphere radiates…

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    5. Dug Edwud

      Mr

      In reply to Philip Dowling

      Philip,

      It puzzles me that as a teacher you believe that matters of science are determined by "dictatorship". May I suggest you Google 'scientific method' and do some reading in case you confuse your pupils any further.

      The simple fact is that near-100% of the planet's climate scientists - along with every national science academy - confirm anthropogenic climate change is real and it is happening now.

      There are many statements and warnings from the experts, and this one is from the American…

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    6. Philip Dowling

      IT teacher

      In reply to Dug Edwud

      David,
      Thank you for your post.
      I did not say what you imputed to me about dictatorship.
      Could I suggest that you actually read the quote from the American Physical Society.
      It does not actually say anything that is quantified.
      Would you agree that the use of aeroplanes for transport is having an impact on the environment, and their use must be restricted as soon as practicable?

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  10. Marc Hendrickx

    Geologist: The Con is a bad Monty Python sketch, for climate sense see: http://www.thegwpf.org/

    Every case made above can be equally applied to alarmists such as John Cook.
    When are we going to start hearing from the Luke Warmers?

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  11. Michael Brown

    Professional & academic

    Excellent article - precisely applicable to all the hysterical exaggerations by Anna Rose and the like.

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    1. Matthew Thredgold

      Software Engineer/Secondary Teacher

      In reply to Michael Brown

      You read the article and thought Anna looked bad? That's quite incredible seeing it was about selectively choosing what to believe in to back up preexisting beliefs. I'll give you a hint, it's not Anna that comes off looking bad through this whole exercise.

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  12. Matthew Thredgold

    Software Engineer/Secondary Teacher

    "There are precious few, who at the root, can prove, this is all nothing but cold calculation" - The Tragically Hip.

    Nick Minchin has come off looking ridiculous through this programme and indeed in this article. He has been shown to be nothing but dogmatic and irrational and his opinions are therefore valueless. I do not think that just because there are many like him that they are equal and opposite to those precious few in my quote above. It is assymetric. There is such a thing as objective truth, and policy should be based on that objective truth. People like Nick Minchin are a hinderence to progress and the sooner they bugger off out of public life the better.

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  13. Don Aitkin

    writer, speaker and teacher

    I didn't see the program, and confine myself to the essay above. One option available to people in such a debate is to say that they don't know about X, and ask why their interlocutor is so sure. A participant who is reasonably well informed can then probe the answer. With any luck, both sides will learn something.

    The essay presents the issue as an argument between two people who are sure of their position, and in my experience, if both are confident, then before very long each dismisses the…

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    1. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Don Aitkin

      Don Aitkin says in relation tro Climate Science
      " There is abundant 'science', but it does not point firmly in one direction."

      Gee Don - PHEW! I'm so relieved. Obviously you of course know better than the world's science bodies who have concluded exactly the opposite?

      I'd be really interested to hear (based on evidence not pseduo-skeptic handwaving thanks) how it is that YOU have some superior insight to the following Bodies who have actually LOOKED at the science and concluded exactly the…

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    2. Timothy Curtin

      Economic adviser

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Mark: how amazing that the authors of all those bodies you mention as endorsing the findings of the IPCC's AR4 were themselves the authors of AR4! (nine of the ten authors of the AAS' Q&A 2010 were lead authors/reviewers of AR4, and the same is true of those responsible for the NAS and RS et al endorsements of AR4). Get real!

      If you have ever published anything in this area, which I doubt, I am sure you will swear it was nothing but the truth, when in reality your are here as ever economical with the truth.

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    3. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Timothy Curtin

      LOL - less amaxing is that Tim (I can't correctly calculate the power requirements to boil a kettle of water) Curtin makes this (incorrect point).

      Of course Tim! I should have realised - it's those IPCC world government control mind control types who have brainwashed the Royal Society (as one example) into making their statement! NOTHING to do with the science at all. I should have known. No doubt they failed to do their LSR's and you will soon correct them :)

      Thank you for pointing this out. You can go away and polish your tinfoil hat again now :) There's a good fellow

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    4. Timothy Curtin

      Economic adviser

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Mark, you are the one who said here that the total solar insolation received by this planet could just about boil a kettle.

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    5. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Timothy Curtin

      Tim I said no such thing. But I'm not surprised.

      You really do have a problem with evidence and facts don't you Mr Curtin. Even which you created! :)
      Apparently you also like to see your ridiculous errors repeated? Okay :)

      You said " What tosh! How much heat is delivered by 0.9 W per sq. metre? Not enough to boil a kettle!" to try and belittle how much the energy imbalance impacted the planet.

      I answered

      "Well Tim the correct answer is talk about how much power is involved and the…

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    6. Timothy Curtin

      Economic adviser

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Unbelievable Mark when you claim to have a PhD in physics!

      Let's try to get you to understand the sums one last time:

      Time to boil a kettle depends on its rating and how many litres. Assume mine holds up to 1.7 litres and takes 3KW. If it takes 3 minutes( 1/20 of an hour) to boil that's 3/20 of a KWh, = 0.15 KWh.

      Doing the thermal energy sum, you have say 1.5 litre = 1.5 kg of water raising from say 10 C to 100 C, that's a 90 C rise and 1500 grams of water which requires 135,000 calories…

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    7. Toby James

      retired physicist

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Don, don't be fooled by Mark's list of quotes from the 'science bodies'.

      The science they rely on is about as logically sound as this from the Australian Academy of Science who concluded:
      •(1) “Global average temperature has increased over the last 100 years.”
      •(2) “Human activities are increasing greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere.”
      •(3) “It is very likely that most of the recent global warming is due to this increase in greenhouse gases.”
      (The numbers in brackets are mine)

      No one…

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    8. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Timothy Curtin

      Well done Mr Curtin - you have learned something! So you now admit you were WRONG when you claimed "In brief, it requires 50 Watts to get a kettle to boil in 3 minutes"?? No matter how many times you appley LSR?

      Good for you.

      By the way you STILL seem NOT to understand. I NEVER stated that the 0.9 Wm-2 would boil A kettle (inresponse to your claim that this energy imbalance would be of no consequence) i DID say that the total energy imput to the Planet was 459,000,000,000,000 Joules every…

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    9. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Toby James

      Thank you Toby - of course - those silly PhD's and scientists who've been beavering away for years doing REAL research and working on climate science for decades and then meticulously reviewing the published science amongst hundreds and hundreds of highly qualified members obviously haven't a clue - and you a retired blogger from your armchair are able to so clearly see where they went wrong.

      THANK GOODNESS! I'm so relieved. I do look forward to seeing your learned conclusions published pointing out where they went so wrong so we can all go back to having our heads in the sand.

      After all what they POSSIBLY know better than Toby James retired physicist eh?

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    10. Toby James

      retired physicist

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Mark, the high priests of Warmistan e.g. Hansen, Jones, Mann etc. have spent their time and research funds trying to be creative with climate models and clever with temperature data sets.

      These people are not the sort of scientists who are responsible for radar at the airport, vaccines and predicting eclipses; they are activists.

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    11. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Toby James

      ROTFLMAO - ah yes OF COURSE Toby - those dratted priests of warmistan! Thank goodness you are on the job!

      I suggest you write immediately to

      Prof. Julia Slingo - Chief Scientist, Met Office
      Prof. Alan Thorpe - Chief Executive, Natural Environment Research Council
      Lord Rees - President, the Royal Society

      and let them know how they've been duped by these malicious climate science types seeking world domination and advise them of their foolishness in making a statement recognisind the reality of AGE such as they did here

      http://royalsociety.org/Climate-Science-Statement/

      The FOOLS - can they not see? Sir Toby (retired) rides to the rescue on his trusty physics armchair steed!

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    12. Toby James

      retired physicist

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Mark, its you who are telling the readers of this blog how convincing your argument for belief in CAGW is. You should be defending your first invalid argument rather than adding the fallacy of authority (the big shots at the science bodies are to be believed because they are the big shots).

      Your position is indefensible.

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    13. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Toby James

      Sir Toby - go and tilt at another windmill, there's a good chap. Or else feel free to publish your well researched and evidenced based refutation of the science of climate change so we can all see how so many of those in the academies, and who actually DO work in this area, got it so wrong. You shall be a hero sir!

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    14. Ian Ashman

      Manager

      In reply to Timothy Curtin

      Jeez, let's hope his economic advice is better than his undertsanding fo climate science.

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    15. Grendelus Malleolus

      Senior Nerd

      In reply to Ian Ashman

      And that is the crux of the issue. having read some of Mr Curtin's economic work I do have a certain respect for his views in that field. Unfortunately I have none for his views on climate science since he exhibits a tendency to ignore the actual state of the science and focus on what he believes the science should tell us.

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  14. Dennis Alexander

    logged in via LinkedIn

    I note the authors' final comment:
    "it is actually a really good idea to move on and discuss and implement a course of action (as also suggested by UK conservative Zac Goldsmith), rather than trying to convince the unconvincible."

    There is no point in engaging with the likes of Timothy Curtin or Mark Hendrix. Stop it. The downside is that their gumpf will appear uncontested. A first reply of "we caution readers that this poster's purported evidence isn't credible and we choose not to engage with any further in pointless churn with the poster" would be an entirely rational response that would partially address the downside.

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  15. Dug Edwud

    Mr

    I've just finished watching the program and it's clear Nick Minchin is not driven by science, but by his rightwing ideology. He listens only to people who tell him what he wants to be true, while ignoring the planet's experts. And the fact that he thinks Marc Morano is a reasonable man worth listening to reveals that he is clearly not a rational thinker.

    Minchin offered up a revealing Freudian slip at one point when he said "I'm not ready to consider believing". That's simply it - he will not even consider accepting the science. He's like a child having a tantrum.

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    1. Don Aitkin

      writer, speaker and teacher

      In reply to Dug Edwud

      Having not seen the show I can only comment on the words. 'Belief' is not a word I would use about 'climate change'. Minchin may have meant that he is not about 'believing', but of looking at the evidence. Science generally isn't, or at least shouldn't be, about belief, but about testing hypotheses against observations. As I have said elsewhere,from that perspective (not what the executives of learned academies say), there is still a great deal we don't know about climate.

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    2. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Don Aitkin

      Don - you keep repeating this mantra "there's still a great deal we don't know about climate"

      So what - there's a great deal we don't know about gravity too (gravity waves anyone?) but we know enough not to try and walk off the top of a building.

      Elsewhere you have said in relation tp climate (which I have challenged but you've not the cajones to reply) "There is abundant 'science', but it does not point firmly in one direction."

      Which is utter unsubstantited rubbish.

      It would appear…

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  16. Don Aitkin

    writer, speaker and teacher

    One missing element from the essay is another strategy used a lot in this debate, and on this thread: the argument from authority.

    It is argued, for example, that we should trust the papers of the IPCC because they have been supported by learned academies all over the world. The casual listener might infer that the members of these learned academies have gathered together and pronounced on the IPCC's massive production.

    The facts are otherwise. These statements have been produced and approved…

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    1. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Don Aitkin

      No - it's argued that we should apportion our beliefs to the evidence - as wise people do.

      All that Don Aitkin does is cast unfounded and unsubstantriated asperions on the numerous science bodies who HAVE studied the evidence and concluded there is a real problem and, becuase it doesn't agree with his prejudged beliefs - wants to dismiss their statements as "appeals to authority". This was a classic tactic of the tobacco industry to deny their product causes cancer.

      Put up or shut up Mr Aitkin.

      Offer real evidence why AGW is not real and a problem (and not mere handwaving) and perhaps you might have case. On every post you've made on this and other threads you have singularly failed to do so

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  17. Don Aitkin

    writer, speaker and teacher

    'it's argued that we should apportion our beliefs to the evidence - as wise people do.'

    Why should anyone who is really interested need to have a 'belief' about climate change? As I have written earlier, 'beliefs' are about religious questions. Although it is plain that many people do 'believe' that humanity is wrecking the planet,and that carbon dioxide is a pollutant, I would not myself call them 'wise people'. Such people have created a god which they think is science. I would call their belief…

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    1. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Don Aitkin

      What a stupid comment. Apparently Mr Aitkin has no understanding of the epistemology of knowledge, belief and evidence (as opposed to blind faith).

      The rest of his post is a classic case of the denialist gish gallop. "It isn't happening, if it is we didn't do it and if we did it's not bad anyway"

      The really interesting question is why he fails to understand the issue at so many levels? Or is it deliberate?

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    2. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Don Aitkin

      By the why Don, the quote "Wise men apportion their belief to the evidence" comes from David Hume - the eminent philosopher and empiricist. It's apparent that not aonly do you know nothing about climate, or the basics of epistemology, but also the classics. It would therefore appear you are completely uneducated?

      Odd then that you seem so willing to sprout on about so much about which you know nothing?

      The evidence is available, in spades, for anyone who cares to look.

      Unfortunately those with predisposed beliefs ignore or select the evidence to suit their fancy - apparently you are such

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    3. Matthew Albrecht

      Postdoctoral Researcher at Curtin University

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      I would have to agree. The word belief has different meanings to different audiences. Don is conflating the religious use of belief which involves faith, to the scientific use of belief which is based on evidence. I am perfectly comfortable assigning a range of strengths of beliefs on numerous scientific theories without ever having to cross over into the religious based version involving faith.
      I think the Bayesians best sum it up: what we should believe is a combination of prior experience that is updated by data to give a probability of belief in one hypothesis over another. The religious use of belief can be thought of as setting improper priors (infinite point priors), or an unwillingness to update beliefs based on data. Scientific belief is evolving, updated by data, and is based on reasonable priors, where for cases when we have absolutely no idea, we acknowledge it and do not hold onto any belief strongly until the data suggests (and the data do suggest).

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    4. Timothy Curtin

      Economic adviser

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Mark: do you know who Don Aitkin is?

      Please post your no doubt stellar publications in Enid Blyton's latest collection of reissued Noddy tales so that we can evaluate your record against Don's.

      Regards,

      Tim

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    5. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Timothy Curtin

      Gosh Tim - is that an argument appealing to authority?

      Are not you and Don on record as saying that such an approach is fallacious?

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  18. Don Aitkin

    writer, speaker and teacher

    I approve of The Conversation, but for me to take part in it with another, the first basic rule for me is courtesy. I will listen, and respond if I think I have something useful to say. If I say something and the other shouts at me so to speak, or insults me, then there is no sense in continuing that conversation, and I will ignore what was said, and move on. There are, fortunately, a number participants who exhibit courtesy, and are here to engage in a conversation. I wish there were more...

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    1. In reply to Don Aitkin

      Comment removed by moderator.

  19. Marc Hendrickx

    Geologist: The Con is a bad Monty Python sketch, for climate sense see: http://www.thegwpf.org/

    Last year The Conversation (aka The Con) breathlessly reported on alleged death threats to climate scientists (http://theconversation.edu.au/universities-seriously-concerned-by-death-threats-against-climate-scientists-1686)

    Turns out they were a myth, as Christian Kerr reports in today's Australian:

    "CLAIMS that some of Australia's leading climate change scientists were subjected to death threats as part of a vicious and unrelenting email campaign have been debunked by the Privacy Commissioner."

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/health-science/climate-scientists-claims-of-email-death-threats-go-up-in-smoke/story-e6frg8y6-1226345224816

    Perhaps a little more scepticism on the part of The Con's journo's next time?

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  20. Darren Kay

    Private trader

    Informative article highlighting some deficiencies in how we think (or don't). I would add that certain sections of the media, notably anything related to News Ltd plays their part in perpetuating certain cognitive biases.

    In the last few days, we've had numerous articles relating to climate change including ABC's 'I Can Change Your Mind About Climate', a summary of the scientific consensus against Lindzen's Iris hypothesis (eg http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/01/science/earth/clouds-effect-on-climate-change-is-last-bastion-for-dissenters.html) and today, the announcement that South Korea will have an ETS by 2015.

    Predictably, all broadsheet publishers under News Ltd have ignored such news items out of self-interest. When News Ltd does release news of this nature, I've noticed it tends to be released late, often at midnight. I wait with bated breath for the South Korean announcement to be published. Not.

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