November 30, 2009

"Why Do You Believe What You Do? Do our beliefs form the basis of our partisan and ideological affiliations?"

Here is Josh Marshall asking what, for me, have always been the most interesting questions about politics. I've taken a lot of flak for it too. I've found it really annoys people to take a political or philosophical discussion in this direction. But Josh Marshall isn't really going where I hoped he would with this. He's going where I'd expect Josh Marshall to go, toward showing why Republicans are bad:
There's been a lot of recent evidence not only that Republicans disproportionately disbelieve the evidence for man-made global warming but that their skepticism is growing.
Yeah, but isn't there skepticism growing because there is a whole load of new evidence that the scientists were not being too scientific? Is that "disbeliev[ing] the evidence" or paying attention to evidence?
I think that trend is fairly classed under the general heading of Republican/conservative hostility to science.
Aw, come on now! Why do you, Josh Marshall, believe what you do? Why do you believe that skepticism is hostility to science as opposed to the methodology of science? Why do you believe that the evidence for man-made global warming is real evidence and the evidence of misbehavior by scientists is not real? Is it because you are committed to the policy choices that of your partisan and ideological affiliations?

Marshall makes absolutely no attempt to look into the structure of his own mind. He's a politico using interesting questions not because he's curious about the truth but because he seems to think they work well to attack the people he already wants to attack.

There's more to Marshall's post, and it may get a little better, but it's also vague and meandering. Please read it and let me know if you think I'm being unfair to Marshall, but I think he wanted to take a shot at those bad anti-science Republicans and the rest is vague gesturing at the fact that he went to college and could write a coherent essay on the theme he wanted to take the trouble to do it.

145 comments:

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I think that trend is fairly classed under the general heading of Republican/conservative hostility to science

No time to read the essay now, but....


I'm not hostile to science in the least. I'm hostile to people who want to use science like a club to beat others into submission and cede power to the government in the name of some scientific "theory".

The latest of course being AGW which is an excuse to take over control of everything from lightbulbs, to televisions you are permitted to buy, to cars you can't use and cars you must buy, to the food we eat, to remote controlling the temperatures in our homes....and it goes on and on and on. It has nothing to do with actual science and more to do with being a raw power grab.

Marshall can make it about conservative/republicans if he wants to but he is deluding himself and not really examining his own motives.

traditionalguy said...

Josh is a perfect example of the educated public policy wonk slandering all opponents as if they just don't understand their intellectual betters in the room. We have seen his type since the 1960s get awarded the prizes like Obama gets his Nobel for furthering an Aristocracy of learned men able to rule us. Sorry Josh, but real science and real thought has been sharpened up by internet connections and you are now only another exposed phony.Beware of Facebook postings running circles around you,Josh

AJ Lynch said...

Two liberals at Thanksgiving dinner said there is no qualitative lighting difference with flourescent bulbs and there is no hazardous issue if the bulbs break. Does that represent a disdain for a scientific concensus?

My litmus test for those fifty years old or older is this: "Do you essentially believe the same things you believed when you were 20 years old? "

If the answer is Yes, you are a liberal. I bet Josh Marshall would say Yes [in a candid moment].

Cheryl said...

You've got a theme going today! This "climate change skeptic = knuckle-dragging conservative" meme seems to fit with the autism post earlier. No hard science, no conclusive proof, but lots of money to be made and potentially a lot of damage to do.

Skepticism seems the wise choice in both cases. In both cases skepticism is vilified. I need to think about this some more but there is a thread.

John said...

Republicans may have a hostility to science. But Marshall certainly has hostility towards logic. Argument by tautology is not very compelling.

Sloanasaurus said...

There is definately an ideological root of beliefs.

Conservatives generally believe that man is iherently bad (a sinner) and that institutions need to be set up to temper or provide checks and balances to the badness.

Liberals, in contrast, believe that the common man is inherently good and that institutions need to be set up (or changed) to bring out the goodness and to protect the common man from a few bad actors.

Climategate is a great example of these differences. Liberals cannot fathom that these scientists would lie or cheat for their own selfish purposes (or ideological purposes) and that their goal is altruistic. IN contrast, conservatives believe that the scientists are cheating or could be encouraged to cheat and thus their work must be checked and double checked to confirm its accuracy.

DADvocate said...

There's more to Marshall's post, and it may get a little better,...

No, it gets worse. The only good side is that he wrote a short essay to say nothing rather than a long essay to say nothing.

It's not hostility towards science. It's hostility towards using junk science to justify government taking ever more control over the lives of individuals.

Henry said...

Marshall should read Baseball Crank's post:
"Science and it's Enemies on the Left".

But let's consider AGW. Pretend that everything that the IPCC claims is true -- a 1 meter rise in sea levels over the next century, a rise in global temperatures, etc. etc. NOTHING in the consensus prediction justifies the cost in human lives and standard of living of restructuring the world economy. Knowing this, AGW alarmists regularly depart from "science" to make their case.

* The experts promote highly speculative disaster scenarios such as the termination of the gulf stream.
* The experts promote highly dubious economic schemes such as Cap and Trade, even when they have no track record for success.
* The experts promote highly illiberal political schemes to ensure the enforcement of their highly dubious economic schemes.

The fact that Josh Marshall is suprised that skepticism about AGW is growing is an indictment of his world view. The application of AGW to politics and economics should breed skepticism. Anyone not skeptical needs to question their "partisan and ideological affiliations."

SMGalbraith said...

When some people on the right say that AGW is a complete hoax and scam and that all of the research done over the past decade in thousands - yes, thousands of scientific journals and publications - is incorrect it's hard not to conclude that there's a type of obscurantism going on.

It's one thing to be sceptical - I certainly am especially after these latest revelations - but quite another to just wave off all of the research that's been done on this over the past decade plus.

Again, the AGW believers may be wrong. There may be some natural cause of the overall 20th century warming and the increase of CO2 may be counterbalanced by the oceans or more clouds or some other offsetting event or events.

But to ascribe bad motives to the entire AGW field of study is pretty anti-intellectual if not paranoid.

However, the right doesn't have a monopoly on this need or desire or tendency to ignore science when it suits them. Everything from nuclear energy to genetically-modified foods has been opposed by the Luddite left.

edutcher said...

I get skeptical when somebody tells me that it's all settled when there are credible voices disagreeing, especially if the dissenters have degrees in the specialty in question. The Left has a talent for agreeing with science until it disagrees with their agenda.

Take, for example, the idea of a "gay gene". It would legitimize a core constituency, but there's no science to back it up. No problem, the Demos will endow millions in research just to keep the votes coming in.

The issue is there's a lot of what Churchill called perverted science, by that I mean the only purpose of which is to push an agenda. Speak out against it and you get Alinskyized.

traditionalguy said...

Josh is a perfect example of the educated public policy wonk slandering all opponents as if they just don't understand their intellectual betters in the room.

In other words, Alinskyite. And before Jeremy or someone else has an attack, No, I'm not saying everyone to the Left of Center does this, it's just depressingly common.

AJ Lynch said...

My litmus test for those fifty years old or older is this: "Do you essentially believe the same things you believed when you were 20 years old? "

Good point. A politician who is in the exact same place he was thirty or forty years ago is a little scary. Likewise, bringing up a paper somebody wrote in his/her sophomore year is reaching.

miller said...

It is more important to be thought right than to be right -- and doubly important to be Left and not Right.

As soon as the Left comes up with a theory disproving AGW Marshall will fall right in line with it.

SteveR said...

AGW advocates should welcome the chance to get the science right.

Although "intellectuals" like Marshall aren't intellectual enough to believe its possible, conservative scientists (such as myself) are so very pro-science as to question the very idea of consensus when you are talking about measurements of global atmospheric temperature in the tenths of degrees projected for a hundred years into the future.

holdfast said...

I have always held those who work in the hard sciences in high regard, in large part because I am lousy at math, and I tend to respect those who can do well the things that I cannot. That said, one does not need to be an astrophysicist to understand that "shut up, the science is settled" and "we have a consensus" are not inherently scientific arguments. I also understand enough to know that a mathematical model which cannot accurately predict past events cannot be trusted to accurately predict future events.

I do think that conservatives are more likely to ask the question "should we?" on certain matters - as in "We now have the science to clone humans, but should we?" Smart liberals should also understand this, but they have somehow become convinced that ANY restrictions on the biological sciences will translate into restrictions on abortion, that they don't even bother considering the question.

Pastafarian said...

It's interesting to consider why most people who favor muscular foreign policy also happen to favor low taxes; and most people who favor low taxes also tend to oppose abortion rights; when these opinions on seemingly independent issues don't seem to be driven by a single underlying philosophy.

Perhaps it's my own conservatism that colors my judgement, but I've always seen a clear, logical self-interest behind most planks of the conservative platform.

Modern liberalism, on the other hand, seems schizophrenic. Human rights are to be cherished, but Iraqi freedom isn't worth any American blood. Now Darfur, on the other hand...

And drug laws are worse than the Gestapo, but the government should confiscate handguns at will.

From where I sit, the only common thread tying together the modern progressive movement is an adolescent petulance. Not just the naivete of the arrested adolescent, but resentment, defiance, and overconfidence that most people outgrow at age 14.

rcocean said...

I think that trend is fairly classed under the general heading of Republican/conservative hostility to science.

Interesting how people use these vague generalities, which when looked at closely mean nothing.

How is one "hostile" to science? And what is "science" in this context? the phrase conjures up images of Galileo or perhaps Baptists beating up Astrophysicists. But who is hostile to the scientific method, or Medical research,Physics, Chemistry or DNA research? No one.

People have specific concerns about specific areas of science because the "science" is unproven and is being used in a political manner.

Paul said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul said...

"The Left has a talent for agreeing with science until it disagrees with their agenda"

Not a talent, an imperative.

Breaking it down to it's basic structure;

Leftism = the unconstrained vision =
utopianism = totalitarianism = anything and anyone can be sacrificed for the advancement of the agenda.

vbspurs said...

Hey guys, I'm back from Turkey Day hiatus! Hope you are well. :)

wv: pronti!

Montagne Montaigne said...

I am old enough to remember when conservatives denied the existence of global warming, period. Now, since the evidence of warming is so overwhelming, the argument is over human contribution to warming.

The only real scientific organizations that remain non-committal to the overwhelming consensus that "most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities" in the words of the IPCC report JUST SO HAPPEN to be organizations of petroleum geologists.

What the East Anglia emails show me is that legitimate researchers, under constant attack from paid shills of the extraction industries (which are some of the richest and most powerful corporations in the world) can develop a bunker mentality and a desire to "fight fire with fire." The practice of legitimate science suffers from the attacks by industry shills.

Furthermore, the theories about why the large majority of the world's scientists would espouse an ideologically motivated, fraudulent view of global warming are so weak as to be laughable. Because scientists are elitists and want reasons to control society? Because they ALL want to help Al Gore and the Democrats? Because they are all in the pockets of an as yet non-existent carbon trading cabal? Please.

Meanwhile, on the denier side, you have weakly accredited "scientists" who are paid by the lobbying groups of HUGE corporations who would take BIG PROFIT HITS if global action were taken to address human-created warming. Occam's razor and all, but is it so hard to understand why they would say what they say?

As for Republicans, it's Drill Baby Drill or Shoot Baby Shoot when it came to the bison, or Fish Baby Fish when it was cod, or Pave Baby Pave when it's development. It comes from a quasi-religious philosophy about how God gave us this earth and this nation to exploit the hell out of. They are know-nothings when it comes to what we've learned about the fragility of ecosystems or the limits on our resources.

vbspurs said...

Josh Marshall slimed:

I think that trend is fairly classed under the general heading of Republican/conservative hostility to science.

Sigh. You know, I agree with Ann that the question asked is one that is fascinating, and could've been the springboard for deeper reflection in a tremendous blogpost on the topic. What a shame that it's too brief, too simplistic, and too insulting almost as an afterthought.

This conclusion is particularly reductive:

I think that trend is fairly classed under the general heading of Republican/conservative hostility to science.

It reminds me that "establishment Democrats" who blog for a living, are just as ridiculous in their pat conclusions as the political versions.

He easily could've made an argument that Republicans are sceptical of anything which tries to paint Capitalism in as bad a light as possible, or that we are not idealistic so much as pragmatic, and realise that academia (who fired the first AGW volleys) are mostly left-wingers intent on hounding corporations for their multiple "crimes".

But no, he goes for the "Republicans are dumb and don't like science [read, because they are religious and therefore are all creationists]".

It's incredible how thinking like this can get any person as far as Marshall has gotten.

Cheers,
Victoria

Elliott A said...

A political science professor once told me that the distinction between liberal and conservative boils down to this:
A conservative focuses on the process and the liberal focuses on the result. As a science person and conservative (Marshall would not view this as a possibility), I do not trust the methodology used in reaching the conclusion of the AGW community. Were I liberal, I would be happy with the result and therefore defend the methodology.

Fen said...

the overwhelming consensus that "most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities" in the words of the IPCC

Idiot. The IPCC reports relied heavily on the fraudulent data put out by CRU.

What the East Anglia emails show me is that legitimate researchers, under constant attack from paid shills of the extraction industries (which are some of the richest and most powerful corporations in the world) can develop a bunker mentality and a desire to "fight fire with fire."

Idiot. They fudged the raw data. I'm not wasting time educating your ignorant ass. Google "CRU and Fudge Factor".

Montagne Montaigne said...

Fen-- give me one scientific organization (Hotair.com doesn't count) that disputes AGW.

Did you know that East Anglia is not the only place researching warming?

Did you know that ACORN is not the DNC?

Did you know that Obama was born in Hawaii?

Henry said...

Elliot A wrote: A conservative focuses on the process and the liberal focuses on the result.

I don't agree with this. I think a lot of ideologues, on both sides, see results (or desired results) and argue backwards to process.

Just looking at Althouse, it's instructive how often a process question completely annoys the various ideologues that show up. See the Limbaugh post after this one as an example.

It's also interesting to recognize commenters who relate to process questions, even when they come from different political viewpoints.

chickenlittle said...

It's incredible how thinking like this can get any person as far as Marshall has gotten.*

Marshall is such an earnest hack. I used to read him but I stopped a while back. As a trained scientist, I find these thoughts insulting. I mean, I am sympathetic to the notion of moving away from a reliance on cheap energy from hostile places, but not for shoddy and questionable reasons put forth under the guise of Science. I love American science too much to see it smeared so.

*Hey Victoria, glad you had a nice Thanksgiving!

wv: pread hmm, is that pronounced as in "read" or as in "bread"?

Larry J said...

Montagne Montaigne said...
I am old enough to remember when conservatives denied the existence of global warming, period. Now, since the evidence of warming is so overwhelming, the argument is over human contribution to warming.


Yeah, the evidence for global warming is so overwhelming that there hasn't been any measured increase for the past 10 years.

As a programmer with 20 years of experience, I look at the code that was released and cringe. I would've flunked any freshman computer science student for writing such crap. Now, they also admit they threw away much of the original data used to make their predictions. Yet, I'm supposed to accept their "Trust Me" card? Sorry, no. The old programming axiom of "garbage in, garbage out" still holds true. However, in this case, it's "garbage in, garbage calculations, garbage out."

Human caused "Global Warming" (or, to cover your bets, "climate change") is now officially junk science. It's up to the true believers to pretty well start over, this time with transparency and true peer review of both the data and their computer models. "There are lies, damn lies, and computer models."

Sloanasaurus said...

But to ascribe bad motives to the entire AGW field of study is pretty anti-intellectual if not paranoid.

The politics, however, do not come from whether global warming is right or wrong, but what to do about it.

If Al Gore proposed that we build 500 nuclear power plants in the U.S. to 1) provide a change over from coal fired electricity and 2) to make way for more electric cars, he would get broad support regardless of the science. Such a proposal does not take away people's freedoms.

vbspurs said...

Chickenlittle wrote:

I am sympathetic to the notion of moving away from a reliance on cheap energy from hostile places, but not for shoddy and questionable reasons put forth under the guise of Science.

Well said. There isn't one person alive in the West today that doesn't want to lessen our dependence on petroleum -- but it's almost like whatever alternative we find has some ecological opposition. Just imagine if the miracle of our ages happens, and we find a way to make transportation reliant on stable hydrogen fuel cells. The ecological Left will find a way to be against in some way, I promise you.

The argument seems to be for some, we have to save the Earth from humans, even if it means destroying our future sustainability as a species on this earth.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

THANKS CHICKEN! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving too. :)

SMGalbraith said...

'The politics, however, do not come from whether global warming is right or wrong, but what to do about it.'

But the discussion is science and the acceptance or rejection of it for ideological reasons.

It's wrong in my view to claim that the AGW proponents are all pulling a hoax. Equally wrong is it to say that all critics are tools of the oil companies or anti-science or similar such smears.

As Sidney Hook used to say, before questioning someone's motives, answer his argument.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Now, since the evidence of warming is so overwhelming, the argument is over human contribution to warming

Baloney. There is no 'overwhelming' evidence that there is global warming or that there is anything out of the ordinary going on with the Earth getting warmer/cooler or whatever.

You are making it up and now that your fairy tale is shown to be concocted with falsified information, you STILL can't let go of the fairy tale.

Must suck to be so wrapped up into a lie and unable to disengage yourself from it with it is proven to be a lie. Kind of like the kid who discovered that Santa really isn't coming down the chimney and throws a fit because it 'must' be true or else you'll hold your breath until you turn blue.

Fen said...

Fen-- give me one scientific organization (Hotair.com doesn't count) that disputes AGW.

Considering that all of them were working off the fraudulent CRU data, all of them do now.

Did you know that East Anglia is not the only place researching warming?

Do you have any fricken clue how many papers and how much research relied on CRU data? Including the IPCC and our own EPA? All of those papers and research has to be thrown out now and researched from scratch.

Moron.

J said...

"Republicans disproportionately disbelieve the evidence for man-made global warming but that their skepticism is growing"

I thought you were referring to an old post. What's incredible about Marshall's post is that he apparently wrote it yesterday. Now I know what people mean when they say "denialist".

Paul Zrimsek said...

One of the subsidiary mysteries surrounding the CRU e-mail scandal is how so many people managed to jump to the conclusion that all the scientists who got caught red-handed work at CRU. Do none of these people use e-mail themselves?

Ann Althouse said...

On that process/results thing, isn't it reversed when the subject is conducting a war or dealing with crime?

John said...

The reason why people say it has warmed at all in the last 100 years is because the CRU told them so. How did CRU come to that conclusion? Well, NASA gave the raw temperature readings for however many years such things existed. CRU then proceeded to "adjust" those readings. Clearly, some adjustment and almalgamation was needed to get the proper global temperature measurements. But were CRU's adjustments done correctly?

Understand, this is a really hard question. We don't know what the actual global temperature is. We are supposed to figure that out by looking at the temperature data and adjusting it accordingly. But if you don't know the final answer how do you know the adjustments are correct? That is a hard question.

But we will never know if the adjustments were done properly because the CRU destroyed the raw temperature readings. They only have their adjusted or "value added" readings. But there is no way to tell now if those readings are correct.

The whole proposition that the world warmed over the last 100 years is now in question. For all we know, the world could be cooler now than it was in 1900. We have only CRU's word and adjustments to go on. And CRU has been revealed to be a complete fraud. Basically, climate science has to start over from square one.

raf said...

Humans are not rational creatures, they are rationalizing creatures.

William said...

Just recently, in The New Yorker, there was an article about the Dreyfus case. Dreyfus was a French military officer who was convicted of spying for Germany. There were compelling amounts of evidence pointing to his innocence and to the guilt of the real culprit, Esterhazy. Nonetheless, anti-Semitism was such a distorting prism that the French conservatives were unable to form a just evaluation of the facts. Dreyfus remained in jail for many years after evidence conclusively demonstrated his innocence. Even after his pardon many of the anti-Dreyfusards believed in his guilt, and even their children continued to believe thus as a matter of faith. The New Yorker writer presented the case as a demonstration of the faulty thinking of conservatives.....I would make the point that the Dreyfus case demonstrates the faulty thinking of human beings. There were three great show trials in the United Sates: Sacco & Vanzetti, Alger Hiss, and the Rosenbergs. Sacco, Alger Hiss, and Julius Rosenberg were almost certainly guilty of the crimes for which they were charged. Despite convincing mounds of evidence to the contrary, liberals continue to believe in their innnocence. In this, they resemble the anti-Dreyfusards who were unable to overcome their prejudices and look at the facts. The difference, however, is that liberals, unlike the anti-Dreyfusards, have never been asked to examine why their thought processes led them to such faulty conclusions. Indeed, they believe that these faulty processes are a form of idealism....We all form a narrative, a myth if you will, of the events that surround our lives. We accept those facts that support the narrative as salient and germane; others are dismissed as anecdotal. Both liberals and conservatives do this. It's just the way the mind works.....I would make the case, however, that the prejudices of conservatives have been more exposed and dramatized than those of liberals. Thus liberals are much less likely to question theirs beliefs and prejudices.....The truth exists independent of the narrative. The earth rotates around the sun; commmunism doesn't work; and men either are or are not causing global warming. Judging by their past blown calls, I question the objectivity of liberals in evaluating the global warming issue.

bagoh20 said...

Although Marshal does not address it as far as I know, there is a basic difference being that conservatives by definition are skeptical of making radical change and would of course be skeptical of theories requiring it. Liberals are much more prone to want to change things for change's sake.

This makes conservatism more logical, scientific and wise, in my mind.

Skepticism is all that stands between science and religion. Everything a "scientist" does is not science. These researchers were practicing religion more than science. When you acknowledge that, you seen a disturbing yet very common pattern of squelching dissent and making up evidence. I'm just waiting for AGW scientists to start seeing melting ice caps in the burn pattern on slices of toast.

Maguro said...

The AGW argument has now been reduced to its essence, which is a raw Appeal to Authority. Scientific consensus! Peer review! Scientific consensus! Peer review! Never mind the facts, just look at those diplomas on my wall.

How do they explain why their computer models have failed to match up with reality over the last 10 years? They don't. their explanation is Trust us, we're scientists.

Now we find out they've been fudging the data all along. AGW theory, like the Ptolemaic solar system, is just too satisfying a theory to let go of. Too many people have too much invested in AGW to let the theory be disproven. The CRU's fraudulent computer code, like the absurdly complex epicycles of the Ptolemaic astronomers, is just a desperate (and probably doomed) attempt to defend an undefendable hypothesis.

VW - javiert: Andrew Sullivan's role in Les Miserables.

DADvocate said...

My litmus test for those fifty years old or older is this: "Do you essentially believe the same things you believed when you were 20 years old? "

Being over 50, I feel a little insulted by this, but have applied the same standard many times myself. I've often accused my liberal parents of voting for FDR all their lives. Indeed, the only people in my family (parents and 8 kids) who still believe the way they did when they were 20 are liberals.

traditionalguy said...

The Cartoonish UN "Experts" and their accomplices are still saying, " Trust us. It's hotter by the day and the end of mankind is upon us" while the simple truth is that it is cooling quickly after a brief warming fluctuation in the late 1990s. Then it turns out that Governance from the unelected, sham voting UN for the basic permission to be a CO2 breathing energy using productive human will be a legal requirement , or else. That would only be a joke if the Joker Obama wasn't driving this "CO2 is pollution train to hell"to create mandates in treaties under the Cartoonish UN.

MnMark said...

Just ask yourself: are the global warming alarmists behaving like people who have discovered the equivalent of an asteroid heading for earth that will destroy life as we know it? Or are they behaving like people who "never let a good crisis go to waste," a la Rahm Emanuel?

If I had discovered an asteroid heading for earth, I would bend over backwards to provide every bit of my data, my models, my emails, whatever, to the skeptics so that I could convince them. You wouldn't need to file an FOA request to see my emails or data because I'd be out showing them to as many people as possible. I'd be as open as I could because I'd WANT to be disproven if possible. And knowing that my political opponents would be skeptical of any proposals that smacked of confiscatory taxes and world government, I'd say "YOU decide what we should do - I don't care how capitalistic/free-market/conservative your solution, as long as it solves the problem". Such a problem would truly be beyond politics or careerism, and a person who really believed it was potentially civilization-ending would welcome skepticism, would welcome critiques, would be as open as possible.

vbspurs said...

Not to worry. It is my understanding that the administration canceled gov't sponsored research on hydrogen fuel cells because they would not produce usable products within the next 10-15 years.

EXACTLY, Dogwood. See, they don't want to find a solution. They just want to blame the money-makers because money is inherently imbalanced -- some will have it, some won't. That's anathema to the Left, where everything must be "100%" or else it's an abject failure.

Richard Dolan said...

Marshall's point is a bit different, and as it happens not very insightful or interesting: "in our politics and society, group association seems to give certain beliefs or policy positions a mutual 'stickiness' even if they do not seem to be connected together in any logical or consistent way, or any way that would make sense out of the context of our culture and society."

His jab at Repubs for being anti-science is just a reflexive, 'can't help it' thing. His main point is that self-identified partisans of any stripe end up adopting positions espoused by their party even if they don't really agree with them. New? On the conservative side, social conservatives are not necessarily free market conservatives; on the liberal side, classic liberals are not necessarily fans of affirmative action, etc. But they learn to fake it when necessary. He's discovered the principle of get-along-go-along, but I doubt that many others will find it news.

As it happens, Marshall doesn't seem much interested in his own question. Just as well, since there is nothing to indicate he would have anything interesting to say about it.

bagoh20 said...

In my mind, nothing but results count. Even if you are stuck on process, it is in attempt to accomplish some result and you believe the proper process is the way.

The scientific theory is a process that does accomplish the result of finding the empirical truth. The truth is the goal. But it is paramount that the truth not be assumed. This violates the process and misses the goal. It's old as dirt.

There are reasons for violating the process, but they always assume the truth.

John said...

"I'd say "YOU decide what we should do - I don't care how capitalistic/free-market/conservative your solution, as long as it solves the problem". Such a problem would truly be beyond politics or careerism, and a person who really believed it was potentially civilization-ending would welcome skepticism, would welcome critiques, would be as open as possible."

It is interesting to note how sad and forlorn the AGW advocates who are honest enough to admit how damaging this is are. You would think they would be happy at the prospect that theory is wrong and maybe we don't have to give cheap energy and our standard of living. Instead, they seem downright horrified at the prospect. That tells you everything you need to know about their motivations in believing AGW.

vbspurs said...

William wrote (beautifully as usual):

Despite convincing mounds of evidence to the contrary, liberals continue to believe in their innnocence.

This reminds me of something someone told me years ago, that what Lefties really mind is denunciation and condemnation by hierarchical majorities. You can see it whenever an incident too closely resembles the McCarthy era.

They could be personally unsold on Communism, and think it just much a sham as I do, but the moment someone is labeled Communist (like Zelaya of Honduras), they will rise to that person's defence because what they truly are is anti-anti-Communist.

BTW, bad marks on Ann for not mentioning the Honduran election so far. A very significant event in the early Obama diplomatic resumé of failures and miscues.

Cheers,
Victoria

Pogo said...

Josh Marshall: "...group association seems to give certain beliefs or policy positions a mutual 'stickiness' even if they do not seem to be connected together in any logical or consistent way..."


Translated:
"I don't understand conservatism and can't be bothered to read about it.
Therefore, their positions must be due to sheep-like obedience".

Alex said...

Translated:
"I don't understand conservatism and can't be bothered to read about it.
Therefore, their positions must be due to sheep-like obedience".


The corollary: Anything we(the left) hold dear is based on Vulcanian-level logic and reasoning.

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

John Marshall would like to buy some Enron stock... with your money.

What an idiot.

Alex said...

BTW the "reality-based community" of Atrios, Kos, HuffPo, DemUnderground really believe that they are keepers of the scientific method and that all Repubs are just a bunch flat-earth Creationists. It's so much easier to live that way.

Peter S. said...

Did anyone -- other than Richard Dolan -- actually READ Marshall's piece?

(DADvocate says he did but provides nothing to support that contention, other than insisting that Marshall "say[s] nothing." DBQ tells us that she didn't have time, and then spends just as much time typing a reply.)

Read Dolan's critique if you can't stand to click and read 300 words, but here are a couple crib notes.

1. Marshall says he is NOT interested in the question of "Republican/conservative hostility to science." He says that one might "fairly" reach that conclusion, but it is not the purpose of his mini-essay. In fact, he says this directly AFTER the "hostility" sentence!

As Richard points out, he's wondering about the extent to which certain beliefs sort of "come along for the ride" with certain types of group affiliation.

2. Marshall also spends MORE time talking about beliefs that seem to "stick" to the general body of Democratic dogma -- specifically, the whole set of pro-choice beliefs.

In fact, he is MORE explicitly suspect about Democratic beliefs in his piece: "For many Dems, I suspect they're pro-choice in some measure just because it's part of the Democratic or progressive package."

That seems to torpedo Ann's contention that Marshall simply is using any excuse to "attack the people he already wants to attack." Unless one thinks, of course, that pro-choice Democrats have fallen into Marshall's disfavor.

3. Admittedly, Marshall doesn't "look into the structure of his own mind." But that's because this is a 300-word post -- a question more than an answer or argument.

(For what it's worth, please note that Ann's 300-word contribution doesn't spend much time analyzing the structure of her mind either, even though she finds the question very interesting.)

I think this is, in part, because NO ONE likes to think that they hold certain beliefs for reasons that are anything other than rational, consistent, and empirically justified. No one likes to imagine that their group affiliations have any effect on their ideas.

We like to think that our own beliefs are well thought out, well reasoned, and proceed from the evidence -- not from the people we hang out with or with whom we share a party affiliation.

4. I'm with Dolan. The questions Marshall poses are interesting but thin. Still, the majority of these responses seem to support Marshall's point. Althouse readers chose not to read the original post because, it seems, they already knew what it's going to say. Clearly, a belief in Marshall's partisan hackery is just one of the beliefs that sticks with this group.

Alex said...

Peter S - no, only your confirmed partisan hackery came through. Hack away.

chickenlittle said...

Clearly, a belief in Marshall's partisan hackery is just one of the beliefs that sticks with this group.

Althouse rarely links to Marshall and I for one didn't form my opinion of him by reading her.

El Presidente said...

Josh believes in AGW with a fervor that would make a snake handling baptist blush.

AJ Lynch said...

Fen:

I think the Cap & Trade scam was developed by the "smartest guys in the room" aka one-time Enron execs.

Pogo said...

"Did anyone -- other than Richard Dolan -- actually READ Marshall's piece?"

Did Peter-- other than Richard Dolan's -- actually READ anyone's comment?

If you read every other word in Peter's post, it saves time and permits one to draw the same conclusion.

raf said...

Let's be fair. The CRU crew were practicing science as it is taught is most major universities. When doing your lab classes, and your data gathering is all over the place, you quickly learn that good grades go to those to adapt the data to the expected outcome to demonstrate your understanding of the process. When you know what the answer is supposed to be, you know that if it comes up different you must be doing something wrong, and, since the report is the important thing, data must be 'improved.' Or else, you might be subject to disdainful, withering criticism by the authority figure.

wv:nzinger. Really.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

DBQ tells us that she didn't have time, and then spends just as much time typing a reply

Well, excuse me for having a job that I was on my way to performing at the time and only had time to type a quick response to the conservative hostility to science blurb. Now that the markets have closed I can read the article.

Marshall seems to have a black and white view of the Republican group and a more 'nuanced' (snort) view of the Democrat group.
By this it seems that he wants to think that all republicans are anti abortion, anti AGW when that isn't the case at all.

I think this is, in part, because NO ONE likes to think that they hold certain beliefs for reasons that are anything other than rational, consistent, and empirically justified. No one likes to imagine that their group affiliations have any effect on their ideas

This is probably true for some. Group affiliation can create a peer pressure type of mind set.

However, I have noticed that the people who toe the party line without questioning either their own reasoning or the veracity of the "party line" are by and large Democrats and ESPECIALLY liberal/left leaning. They parrot the talking points relentlessly and rarely ever question or research.

Triangle Man said...

Well, Josh Marshall, what about oxytocin levels?

Christy said...

FWIW, 35 years in engineering, associating with scientists and mathmaticians, overwhelming numbers of them, the ones that care at least, tend to be Republicans. I've found democrats, in the main, to be clueless on math and science. I'm a registered Democrat, btw.

Synova said...

I've said this before and I'll say it again...

What happened with "global warming" is that everyone gainfully employed and not habitually in search of a cause, only noticed it when it had gained a certain amount of steam (pun intended), at which point "the science has been settled" and "consensus has been reached" and no one was supposed to question it anymore.

Because question it they did, beginning with the most basic assumptions, because they were new to the concept and not because they are hostile to science. Those asking for answers and being told that asking was wrong because the science was settled (and isn't *that* a warning flare) and that there was a consensus (as if that is how science actually works) were engineers and others with math and science backgrounds working in industry and business.

If there actually *is* a predisposition for or against science it favors conservatives who are less likely to go into the sorts of jobs that liberals are drawn to... those touchy-feeling human relation types of things, of liberal arts and the humanities and journalism and social work and teachers of small snot-nosed children and college students.

I wouldn't think that liberals see this as reflecting poorly on them at all, but it's a bit much to entirely ignore this career path split in order to claim that liberals are naturally more attuned to science and reason!

In any case, the deniers aren't likely to be the least bit phased by attempts to shame them by anti-science accusations or disparagement of their reason and educational creds.

Peter S. said...

Pogo,

Yeah, I read almost all of the comments. 80-90 percent -- pro and con -- were about climate change and "science." That is to say, the vast majority focused on what Ann said the article was about -- not the content of the article itself. (Pastafarian is another exception to this rule, in my opinion. Maybe one or two others.)

Do you claim differently? How many comments focused on Marshall's claims about why Democrats are pro-choice? How many comments quote or paraphrase Marshall directly (as opposed to quoting Ann's selections)? On what do you base your reading of the comments?
_____

DBQueen,

I am sorry for being so dismissive about your comment. That was very poor form on my part. To your credit, you acknowledged that your response was to Ann's summary, not to Marshall's argument. Nothing wrong with that whatsoever.

I do agree with your statement about Marshall's back-and-white view. Then again, Marshall acknowledges the existence of ideological variety; he is just more interested in the apparent unanimity on various "partisan" issues -- even issues that seem to share little inherent logical relation to one another.

I would expect to find wide agreement on this, at least when it comes to the "other side." Althouse readers repeatedly insist that liberals engage in group-think, that they brook no dissent in their ranks, etc. Left-wing blogs say the same thing about the right. The other guy is always the one who is under the sway of the mob or unreflective political allegiance.
____

Alex,

Are you for real?

Synova said...

"I think a lot of ideologues, on both sides, see results (or desired results) and argue backwards to process."

Way back in college I read or watched something or other (hey, it was a long time ago) that argued that *all* of our preferences were argued backwards; specifically, that we weren't defined by our preferences but decided what we preferred by how well it fit our vision of ourselves. Certainly it has to do with our interpersonal behavior and our political beliefs, but also our sense of style, where we live, what we drive and what we eat.

John Lynch said...

Everyone filters information in such a way that they are more accepting of what they already believe and less accepting of conflicting information. It's human nature. We look for patterns and try to explain things in a way that we're comfortable with.

The way to get at reality is to actively look for facts that don't agree with what you believe. That's really hard. You have to look for the small pieces of information that are important, rather than the flood of confirming, but unimportant, data.

John said...

"I would expect to find wide agreement on this, at least when it comes to the "other side." Althouse readers repeatedly insist that liberals engage in group-think, that they brook no dissent in their ranks, etc. Left-wing blogs say the same thing about the right. The other guy is always the one who is under the sway of the mob or unreflective political allegiance."

You are right. They all say that. Here is the difference. I find that on the right blogs people are at each other's throats over real policy differences. You will find people who hate the war on drugs and others who support it. You will find people who say that George Bush was the spawn of Satan because he invaded Iraq and ran up the deficit and others who support Iraq and don't think the deficits were that big of a deal. You will find gold bugs who hate the fed fighting with monetarists who think Friedman is a patron saint. You find paleocons fighting with country club interventionists. The list goes on and on.

On the lefty blogs in contrast, you won't find one person who supported the Iraq war and is allowed to spaek without being shouted down or deleted. You won't find any dissent on AGW. You won't find any real disagreement other than whether this or that politician is really toeing the line well enough.

But both sides are really engage in group think. Sorry, but I don't see it.

Montagne Montaigne said...

Why do you believe that the evidence for man-made global warming is real evidence and the evidence of misbehavior by scientists is not real?

Simply put, Anne, on one hand there is really wide agreement by thousands of qualified scientists. On the other hand, there is NO EVIDENCE of malfeasance of any sort in any of the emails from East Anglia. None. Can you point out any?

Or are the ideologically driven global warming deniers ginning up a scandal where there is none? Just like all the "scandals" and manufactured outrage from the impotent right wing?

So, again,

1)There are 0 scientists who think that man isn't contributing to global warming.

2)None of the emails from the document dump actually point to any wrongdoing or scandal.

Pogo said...

Peter S. said "How many comments quote or paraphrase Marshall directly (as opposed to quoting Ann's selections)?"


Mine, for one.

So how many did you need before posting your query ("Did anyone -- other than Richard Dolan -- actually READ Marshall's piece?")

I suggest that you responded in the same knee jerk fashion of you accuse others.

Pogo said...

"On the other hand, there is NO EVIDENCE of malfeasance of any sort in any of the emails from East Anglia."

Bullshit.
And no, do your own goddamn research on the evidence.

Montagne Montaigne said...

Pogo, I've read the right-wing commentary and didn't find any of it the least bit convincing. What I do see is a whole lot of people absolutely desperate to uncover a global conspiracy that would justify their constant simmering rage at "the liberals," who are using two emails (one from a decade ago) and construing people's shorthand ("hide the decline") as some kind of smoking gun that brings down the massive world-wide scientific consensus down in a single shot.

Sorry, but it's just more hysterical BS.

blake said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John said...

"So, again,

1)There are 0 scientists who think that man isn't contributing to global warming.

2)None of the emails from the document dump actually point to any wrongdoing or scandal."

The emails show that they conspired to destroy information in order to avoid responding to a FOIA request. That is not only wrong doing but a crime. In addition, they also fudged data, rigged the peer review process and destroyed the source data of their calculations so that they couldn't be checked.

And lots of scientists question AGW and many who don't do so in reliance on this data which has now been compromised.

You are either living in complete denial of reality or are a lying partisian hack who will say anything to defend the party line. Which is it? Are you insane, a hack or both?

John said...

Pogo,

Stop argueing with Montaigne. He is nothing but a troll sent to put out disinformation and disrupt debate.

Synova said...

"Yeah, but isn't there skepticism growing because"

It could be "there" I think.

Such as... isn't there a fish in the pond?

Larry J said...

Sorry, but it's just more hysterical BS.

I'm not a climate scientist but I am a professional programmer with over 20 years of experience. The software they used to perform their climate calculations is pure, unadulterated crap filled with hacks and "adjustments" to get the desired values. Anyone who believes the predictions produced by that code is being duped.

The burden of proof is on the AGW believers to prove it's happening. Their case is seriously undermined by the relavations from the hacked (or released by a whistleblower) emails and computer code. Not only are the data from this group seriously compromised, so are any other works that derive from these data.

Montagne Montaigne said...

Hey John,

I didn't know that a US law (the Freedom of Information Act) applied to foreign bodies. News to me. Fascinating, in fact. Someone should FOIA those old KGB records. Why don't we FOIA Iran and see what they are up to?

I still can't find any reputable bodies of scientists, other than petroleum geologists, that actively deny AGW.

As was said elsewhere... "What do you suppose is more likely, a conspiracy involving thousands of scientists in order to protect a handful of grants and honorariums, or a conspiracy involving a handful of energy consortiums in order to protect millions in profits?"

In other words, give. me. a. break.

Synova said...

It really is desperately anti-science to go on as Monty seems intent to do and insist that the data and the process are not as important as our response in the real world.

One thing that the anti-science movies and literature of years past actually got right when scientists were portrayed as oblivious to the world destroying results of their discoveries (generally symbolic references to nuclear warfare) is that science really is myopic that way.

The data and the discovery is its own goal. Without the data there is nothing at all.

John said...

"I didn't know that a US law (the Freedom of Information Act) applied to foreign bodies. News to me. Fascinating, in fact. Someone should FOIA those old KGB records. Why don't we FOIA Iran and see what they are up to?"

The UK has an even more strict FOIA law than the US does. Further, these guys were acting under a grant from the US government and doing so involves agreeing to abide by the US FOIA laws. These guys committed a crime.

Further, they are not Iran. They are supposed to be scientists and open to other scientists checking their work and furthering scientific inquiry. Instead, they appeared to be lying frauds. No wonder you like them so much.

chickenlittle said...

For what a man had rather were true he more readily believes.

-- Francis Bacon, Novum Organum

Pogo said...

John,
Agreed. I just enjoy saying 'bullshit' whenever Montagne says something especially stupid.

Shit, he'll defend AGW even after some of these science frauds are admitted or they get convicted.

John said...

Fair enough Pogo. And I am just as bad.

Montagne Montaigne said...

Good point about the UK FOIA. Let's see about prosecutions. Considering the dump came from an illegal hack, maybe the hackers should come up for prosecution as well.

Still, do you really think AGW is a global conspiracy? Because of these emails?

Why have all the scientists decided to pull this hoax?

Anthony said...

FWIW, most archaeologists have "known" for quite a while that the earth has warmed up some in the last 150-ish years or so, from the Little Ice Age which Climate Changers have been attempting to fudge away (literally and admittedly).

Interesting the sorts of contortions they've (archys) gone through to conform to the orthodoxy (the vast bulk of anthropologists are firmly to the left). Brian Fagan even wrote an entire book on the LII a few years before AGW really got going in which he documented virtually everything AGW now denies (e.g., that it was global). Few years later he writes another book warning how "Well, oh, that LII certainly was terrible for most of the world, but this UNNATURAL WARMING WILL BE WORSE!!!"

I think if I hear the "Republican war on science" again I'll puke. But I guess it was all just projection anyway.

John said...

"Still, do you really think AGW is a global conspiracy? Because of these emails?

Why have all the scientists decided to pull this hoax?"

No. I don't think it is a giant conspiaracy. I think these guys are absolute believers who stopped doing science and started doing politics. The biggest objection to AGW was that the models didn't predict the cooling that occurred over the last 10 years and hadn't ever made a prediction that was confirmed by observation.

Sure enough, we know have e-mails where the major proponets of AGW admit that their models cannot account for the last 10 years and that it is a "disgrace". And then further admitting that their programs could not account for known data. If the models were valid, you should be able to put in known temps for say 1980 and run the model and come up with projected temps for say 1990 and have the modeled temps match up to the known temps. The e-mails show they can't do that. Their models, their math and their programing are crap. Everything that came out of there was garbage and they knew it. That is why they were trying so hard to dodge the FOIA requests. They knew their calculations didn't match the data and they didn't want anyone to know.

These people destroyed the underlying climate data that they based their entire theory on. And they created computer models that couldn't account for known data. And then rather than admit their shortcomings and ask for help, they conspired to manipulate the data and supress dissent so that no one would know how bad their work really was. These things are devistating to the state of climate science.

AGW may or may not be true. But you can no longer say that it is settled science. The truth is we don't know much of anything thanks to these guys and their fraud.

Let me say again, it doesn't "disprove AGW". You can lie for a truthful cause. What it does do is take away the conceit that it is settled science.

AJ Lynch said...

Global warming has become a cult of sorts. "Why did the scientists all cover up and buy into AGW?"

I don't know - maybe it helps them to get chicks?

John Lynch said...

The best thing you can do for your thinking is to quit taking sides. Don't think of a political party as your side. If you don't understand an issue, don't take sides on it. Leave yourself open to changing your mind.

Politics doesn't explain the world very well. It's a series of stories we tell ourselves. Political debates are always simple, but the world is complex.

People are good at seeing the mote in people they disagree with. They can't see their own logs. That's human nature, but we can fight it.

Peter S. said...

Pogo,

As one comic-strip-lover to another, I admit that I hadn't read your post. When I started typing my comment, the latest entry was from "vbspurs" -- directly before yours -- and I based my reaction on everything up to that point. Had I read yours, I would have acknowledged it.

That said, I still wonder why you (and Ann) saw Marshall's post as being primarily about conservative group-think when comparatively more time and rhetoric was spent questioning Democrats and their lockstep "belief" in abortion rights?

Did you think (as Ann suggests) that those paragraphs were just a diversion? If so, why didn't he resume conservative-bashing more vigorously at the end?

Again, I'm with Dolan. Marshall's questions were a bit lame and underplayed, but they were authentic -- and they pointed, even if you just count words, at both sides.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Why have all the scientists decided to pull this hoax?

ALL the scientists haven't pulled this hoax.

There are plenty of dissenting scientists and plenty more who are undecided. The dissenting ones were silenced and squeezed out of publishing. The on the fence scientists were not able to get the data that they were asking for because THESE guys were destroying the data, hiding the data and making it up.

When you are given false data or partial data as a scientist or as, in my case, an investment advisor, it is impossible to come to a good conclusion about anything. This is what happened with Enron and this is why this climate gate scandal is so serious. It is the Enron of the science community.

Kirk Parker said...

DADvocate,

Yeah, I have some older relatives like that who were Scoop Jackson Democrats, big fans of Hubert Humphrey, and hated Eugene McCarthy. How is it that they are unable to see that the Democratic Party has moved away from them?

Ralph L said...

chickenlittle gave thanks that he isn't turkeylittle.

Kirk Parker said...

chickenlittle,

"I am sympathetic to the notion of moving away from a reliance on cheap energy..."

Stop right there! Do you hear what you are saying???

Pelalusa said...

You all might be interested to watch several Canadians discuss ClimateGate: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1IrGYz4bos

chickenlittle said...

RalphL wrote:
chickenlittle gave thanks that he isn't turkeylittle.

Never heard of turkeylittle.

Kirk Parker wrote:
Stop right there! Do you hear what you are saying???

Hell yes. If I were energy secretary we'd be mining more domestic coal.

The problem with Middle Eastern oil is that some of the biggest users don't want to pay their fair share of keeping it out of the hands of the bad guys.

AC245 said...

Why have all the scientists decided to pull this hoax?

As I pointed out last week:
The "Enron Accounting" scam was based on making sure that independent auditors never got to see the real books. The con job didn't require that everyone at Enron be involved in (or aware of) the deceptions. The majority of Enron employees, stock analysts, and financial advisors who cheerled the whole scheme were ignorant that it was a scam and innocent of any intentional deception.

The fraud only required a few crooked gatekeepers to cook the books, put on a happy face to the public, shout down anyone who questioned their business practices, and deter honest critics from getting a close look at the real numbers.

These emails indicate that the case for AGW is based on "Enron Science."

Pogo said...

Peter S....
I understand that. One minute you're typing and then there are 5 more posts. That's me all over.


As for "why you (and Ann) saw Marshall's post as being primarily about conservative group-think...?"

mostly 'cause his first point was insulting to me personally, suggesting that my rejection of AGW was "not as a conscious decision but through a process of group association and osmosis.

My opinion on whether Democrats are lockstep in belief in re: abortion is pretty uninteresting.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Hostility to science should be stripped of partisan implications? That's right. I forgot about the left-wing ideology of intelligent design.

One instance might be nothing. Two starts to show a pattern.

Of course, because right-wing activists have a nasty habit of lumping together arguments against AGW (that are usually not very good or well-informed) with arguments against any proposed remedies, we should never question their motivations, right?

Hostility to AGW on the right is based on their interest in preserving the fiction of an energy market devoid of distortions, externalities or finite fossil fuel resources. The hostility of many climatologists and the left to this stance is based on the fact that no one has advanced any theory for why we shouldn't expect a heat-retaining gas to retain more heat when it takes up a greater proportion of the atmosphere.

And finally, I love the way the right decried the "social experimentation" of the left while defending their subjecting the planet to what amounts to an experiment -- identical in every way to the menacing sort of chemical experimentation to which their backers in industry were willing to subject the populace for the last hundred years, and would have had it not been for a CPSI, an EPA, etc., etc., etc., and other government "conspiracies" against allowing every decent manufacturer of poison to make a simple and honest living.

Cry me a river. And then calculate its refractive index.

Arturius said...

The fact that the data was manipulated and in some cases destroyed proves nothing. Just like the CIA destroying videotapes of terrorist interrogations doesn't prove they tortured people.

QED

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

It might amaze Arturius to know that in science, intent is not the issue.

Absence of data is not evidence of the kind of scientific data your side wants.

That doesn't justify what was done. But to not get the point that the scientific implications are a different question from the ethics of faulty methodology is to show just how well-ground that axe that you're trying to hide really is.

Arturius said...

I would suggest those whose fervor that mankind is causing AGW stop for a moment and consider the alternatives we have availble for energy. Unfortunately, while wind and solar are clean renewable sources of energy, the current techonology is light years from practical applications of providing a modern city (Chicago, DFW, LA, NYC) with enough power. We have two available sources of energy that will allow us to maintain the standard of living we are accustomed to; coal and nuclear power. Those are our current options.

Personally I have no problem with expanding nuclear power to offset our use of coal. After all, it provides France with 75% of its energy and even the oil rich Iranians are concerned enough about the environment that they are developing nuclear power for peaceful energy purposes. I, like Ted Kennedy, don't see why we have to dot our beautiful landscape with wind turbine eyesores when a much more efficient power source is available.

Maguro said...

The hostility of many climatologists and the left to this stance is based on the fact that no one has advanced any theory for why we shouldn't expect a heat-retaining gas to retain more heat when it takes up a greater proportion of the atmosphere.

Ah, but the climate models based on the remarkably simple formula you just articulated (More CO2 = Higher global temperatures) have not predicted the behavior of our actual climate over the past 10 years.

Why is that?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

The reason that the French can use so much nuclear energy is because they allow the reprocessing that the U.S., under Obama, is just starting to consider.

This gets us back to the sense of immunity the right expects the general public to feel regarding negative externalities. Just deal with the garbage is not a compelling political attitude if a party wants to be taken seriously.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Because "models", no matter how inaccurate, do not allow us to rule out an effect not yet seen at a certain threshold. A threshold is usually a pretty arbitrary thing. If you declare lack of an effect at 0.038% to be conclusive, and then start to see one at 0.039%, then what? How pyrrhic a victory would you like?

Arturius said...

It might amaze Arturius to know that in science, intent is not the issue.

Like Al Gore, I wasn't very good at science. Then again I don't pretend to know what's good for the planet either. However, I do know for a fact that mankind will thrive in a warmer climate than a colder one. Of course there is a balance, too warm and well, you end up with deserts and no one lives in deserts.

Now I will submit that ocean levels could very well rise to the point where our valued coastlines could be endangered and no nation could survive living under sea level, well except the Dutch.

I really don't get too worked up over AGW for the simple fact that the human race has survived quite nicely, and, in point of fact, thrived over the millenia in much harsher climates and living conditions. Unless AGW zealots can provide some evidence that we're going to turn Earth into Arrakis I think I'll save my worries for something really important. Like what to get my wife for Christmas.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

"I really don't get too worked up over AGW for the simple fact that the human race has survived quite nicely, and, in point of fact, thrived over the millenia in much harsher climates and living conditions."

This remark reminds me of a room-mate I had in college who declared The Road Warrior to be a "societal ideal", thereby eliciting laughs all around.

Some of us prefer civilization, you see. The problems with starting over from scratch shouldn't be a difficult concept for too many non-scientists to grasp - as fun as it might be (or at least as fun as it looks on screen).

Maguro said...

Ritmo - According to AGW theory, which you summarized above, atmospheric CO2 levels drive global temperatures. However, in this decade, CO2 levels have continued to rise while global temperatures have stagnated.

Your models don't remotely explain this turn of events.

Arturius said...

This gets us back to the sense of immunity the right expects the general public to feel regarding negative externalities.

Then by all means, the 'left' needs to be honest when they lecture the rest of us on consumption and conserving our resources.

I'll offer a challenge: Go through your home right now and remove your diswasher, microwave, washer and dryer. You probably only need one television and can most likely do without that computer. Oh and remove that air conditioning unit while you're at it. Why? Well, those items use energy, a lot of it when you start adding up all of those in nation of 300 million. After all, those are conveniences, luxuries, that I'm sure many of our parents and certainly all of our grandparents did without and to no ill effect I'll guess.

I strongly suspect that when faced with the prospect of handwashing dishes with Palmolive and hanging your unmentionables on a clotheline in the backyard I think many who think conservation is the answer will want that immunity you think we need to shed.

Arturius said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter S. said...

Pogo,

Thanks for the kind reply. I have discs worth of Walt Kelly scans that I'd love to share.

DBQ (and others),

You may be right that Marshall's claims about the ideological unity of either party's members may not correspond ot the facts.

I was surprised, for example, at some of the figures David Frum cites near the end of this post, which draws upon a Washington Post survey of Republican beliefs.

Peter

Fen said...

You would think those that self-righteously preached to us about AGW would have the decency to SHUT THE FUCK UP for a few days.

rcocean said...

Hostility to science should be stripped of partisan implications? That's right. I forgot about the left-wing ideology of intelligent design.

Amazing. Good to know the left is in favor of intelligent design

Thanks.

DADvocate said...

DADvocate says he did but provides nothing to support that contention,...

I'm just entertaining myself a little. Reading is easy. I'm not about to spend much effort responding to such an insipid post as Marshall's nor to your attempt to sound intelligent and insightful. Most people understand the points Marshall made sometime during middle school.

Elliott A said...

@Ann-

i can't speak to crime, but war is wholly focused on process. The war is conducted in a manner that provides the best chance to win. The outcome is simple, win. For liberals, the result is augmented or amended. "A war of containment" or a "Moral Imperative" is no reason to fight. You don't worry (as a conservative) about collateral damage if that interferes with the necessary conduct of the war. You use all means necessary to win. You don't worry about how the world will view you after you win and fight in some nebulous enlightened manner. When a liberal envisions what it means to win the war, the outcome must fit within certain parameters. We haven't fought a proper war since WWII.

Eric said...

The only real scientific organizations that remain non-committal to the overwhelming consensus that "most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities" in the words of the IPCC report JUST SO HAPPEN to be organizations of petroleum geologists.

Perhaps so, but those scientific organizations relied upon fraudulent data to arrive at that "overwhelming consensus". I'm willing to believe the vast majority of the scientists involved acted in good faith, but the ones providing the data did not.

I've had a lot of interaction with actual scientists, and I've never met one who would throw away his raw data. Never.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Ritmo - According to AGW theory, which you summarized above, atmospheric CO2 levels drive global temperatures. However, in this decade, CO2 levels have continued to rise while global temperatures have stagnated.

Your models don't remotely explain this turn of events.


I don't know where I merited the credit for coming up with any models. I certainly don't remember coming up with any. But the science of CO2 is pretty well-known. And not every relationship is a 1:1 relationship. In nature, most aren't, actually.

Just because science establishes correlations between dependent and independent variables, that doesn't mean the relationships are predictable to an infinite degree of accuracy. Some are. But those that aren't (the vast majority) don't negate the correlation.

Eric said...

Just because science establishes correlations between dependent and independent variables, that doesn't mean the relationships are predictable to an infinite degree of accuracy. Some are. But those that aren't (the vast majority) don't negate the correlation.

But the correlation may be an insignificant part of the system. The Earth has been both warmer and cooler than it is today - even if there is a positive correlation between CO2 and global temperatures, it may be swamped by other influences. The models were the basis of the contention humans are responsible for the warming trend.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Well this of course assumes that we are headed toward planetary castastrophe.

Well, when you make statements like this, Arturius:

the human race has survived quite nicely...

that's precisely the impression you give.

Civilizations first sprang up around 3,000 years ago. The prerequisite for them was the agricultural revolution 10,000 years ago. And for the ~140,000 years before that, as far as anyone can tell, hunting and gathering was the norm.

Now don't get me wrong. The human race survived quite nicely that way as well. But without much civilization.

I find it hard to believe that someone who thinks it would be virtually impossible for our civilization to shift away from a dependence on fossil fuels, thinks civilization is so durable that it could withstand any natural scenario we could throw at it.

If I understand you correctly: Man can end civilization through its effect on government, but not through its effect on the environment.

It's kind of conceited to think we can do anything to our natural surroundings without there being any repercussions to what we need and have grown to rely on (over thousands of years) from those natural surroundings.

Non-scientists can be just as arrogant as scientists apparently. But the presence of some amount of foresight and an ability to consider these arguments in all this should positively differentiate them.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

But the correlation may be an insignificant part of the system. The Earth has been both warmer and cooler than it is today - even if there is a positive correlation between CO2 and global temperatures, it may be swamped by other influences. The models were the basis of the contention humans are responsible for the warming trend.

CO2 is the independent variable of consequence because it is the only one we are altering. Without an end in sight.

Even if other factors were to mitigate the effects of CO2, it's not reasonable to expect that this would continue indefinitely. And if nothing else, 2% atmospheric concentrations of CO2 would be directly toxic.

blake said...

CO2 is the independent variable of consequence because it is the only one we are altering.

lol

traditionalguy said...

Ritmo...Why does no one worry about the assumed Puritan view that requires a war against any increase in dirty CO2 pollution, since as you say, it MUST have some warming effect on the irritable but delicate Earth. But we are NOW in a cooling trend and headed towards a disaster caused by shortened growing seasons in our current maunder minimum conditions. Therefore any sane scientist should be speaking up about the cooling crisis and ordering us ignorant peasants to produce all the CO2 we can as fast as possible. Right?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Which other global climate variable are we altering, Blake? Sunspots?

Pastafarian said...

And, Ritzy Brassiere, just because there's a correlation doesn't mean that there's a cause-and-effect relationship.

CO2 levels might rise with increasing temperature, but this would occur because the warmer oceans hold less dissolved CO2. That's basic physics.

And less basic physics tell us that CO2 absorbs only a very narrow frequency band of the infrared radiation that would otherwise escape into space; and that its effect is essentially negligible (unless you're on Venus, with CO2 concentrations orders of magnitude greater than ours).

And you know what, Ritzy Brassiere?

I told you so.

Along with several other commenters here, I told you that AGW was bullshit from first principles. And I told you that it was based on bullshit numbers and faulty reasoning by second-rate physics dropouts in an infant branch of meteorology.

And now that we've been essentially proven right, you're not even man enough to admit that you were wrong.

You know, there was once another commenter here almost as stubborn and intellectually dishonest as you...Montana Urban Legend was his name. But with all the self-important AGW crap that guy spewed, I doubt he'll have the guts to show his face around here any more. Huh, Ritzy?

Pastafarian said...

What other factors are we altering?

Cloud cover, albedo, methane and water vapor concentrations, airborne particulates.

But what does it matter, that we alter them? There are other variables without our action, and sunspots are a glaringly obvious example, clearly much more important a factor than CO2.

Please, stop. You're embarrassing yourself. I'm going to bed now, Ritzy. Good night.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I don't know what you're trying to argue, TG. But I haven't a clue what it has to do with the relevant arguments.

But since I like you, and I'm not sure if you realize how what you're saying is or is not relevant, I'll break it down further:

1. Heat retention is a physical property. Whatever it has to do with "dirty", "pollution" or whatever other traditional concepts that fall under the rubric of environmental protection is up to you to clarify. But at this point I'm inclined to think that you keep referring to these ideas as a rhetorical device. I really don't have any other explanation for why you would keep referring to concepts that have nothing to do with the properties of CO2 that are relevant to the discussion.

2. It is possible (and necessary) to separate "RIGHT NOW" from "long term". Just like it is also possible (and necessary) to separate what happens to the weather in Chile from what is happening to the climate of the planet as a whole.

These distinctions are prerequisites to the debate.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Basic physics tells us that heat capacity reveals the heat-retention properties of a substance.

The physical properties of CO2 or anything else are constants at a given temperature, etc. They have nothing to do with cause and effect. They just are.

One would have to be idiotic to apply a correlation versus causation argument to CO2 and warming. It would require, basically, a denial of the fact of the industrial revolution and the same (artificial and unnecessary) reliance of our economy on carbon that you want to maintain!!! and will fight to maintain!!!

One causative relationship does not preclude a smaller, causative relationship in the other direction. Perhaps the universe should apologize to you for being too complex and not anticipating your inability to grasp that idea.

As for water vapor, the biggest factor contributing to that is the same combustion that produces CO2 and methane.

It goes like this: CH4 + 2*O2 ---> CO2 + 2*H2O

You are revealing more ignorance here than you know.

Learn your chemistry, dipshit.

I have not addressed anyone else in these terms because they understand, unlike the man with the barbarian avatar, that ad hominems are beside the point. Pasta relies on them as if they were the substance of his comments.

blake said...

Which other global climate variable are we altering, Blake? Sunspots?

<stands in front of sunspot rheostat>

No! Certainly not. That's just crazy talk.

wv: prock

So close...

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

In case Pasta-barian's obfuscation becomes confusing to anyone else, I'd just like to point out that 11-year long sunspot cycles figure are short enough to be figured into any analysis examining longer-term carbon-related trends over the course of several decades or centuries.

How could someone confuse an 11-year cycle with a hundred-year (or longer) trend? Unless they are either extremely ignorant, intellectually dishonest, or just too uncontained to have a rational debate?

Further, what does the width of the frequency of infrared radiation that a substance absorbs have to do with whether or not it continues to absorb more heat for every additional molecule of it that there is?

So mysterious, that science thing.

Your GWAR outfit will come in quite handy in the post-apocalyptic era you seem so fond of. It might just be possible for that to become your true identity (which seems to suit you) and not just an alter ego.

(Satire)

Have a real debate or get lost. Or go to bed - but get some milk and cookies first. You are a waste of humanity's time.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Geez what's gotten into you, Blake?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Pasta's inability to produce a serious reply should have been evident when he neglected to mention the difference I noted between independent and dependent variables in exchange for an opportunity to lecture me on the difference between causation and correlation.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

And Pasta also mentions particulates (which should work against warming and in favor of cooling) as if putting more particulate matter into the air should be understood as a serious proposal for reducing the effects of carbon.

Sorry for the multiple posts. Sometimes there really is just so much ignorance worth correcting that the extent of it is not immediately apparent.

traditionalguy said...

Ritmo...The CO2 is pollution mantra has nothing to do with the very small Heat retention properties that they throw into the mix of a the temperature system. The Freakonomics guys nailed that with their common sense approach to using a countering and more powerful variable in the system, being atmospheric dust particles. Heat is not the ISSUE. That is why the UN Cartoon Characters now refuse to say " global warming" and plead a case for Climate Change that gives them all the power that a simple CO2 causes heat retention equation lacks. Yet it is the Mind Control Science which is the active power behind the Global Governance push; and it still basis everthing upon the Big Lie that pollution is caused by CO2. That is an attempt to control men's minds with guilt for breathing, for using energy and for eating food. There is NO other science at issue here except the Science of Control over men's minds. Think about that, or you can pretend you cannot hear any meaning in my words as a defense.

JAL said...

Sorry. No time to read all the comments.

But isn't this the White House who was going to return science to its rightful place? Since that awful Bush {fill in the blank}.


Well.


C'mon.


Let's hear it, WH!!!


Shhhh.h..h...h


{crickets}

What? You are still going to Copenhagen to sell America out because of crappy dishonest science and you don't even have a thing to say about it except what your silly "Climate Czar" who has a BA in English and worked for AL Gore says?

Laughing all the way to bed.

blake said...

What do you mean, Ritmo?

I wasn't calling you a prock!

wv: mitat

(for your tit?)

Synova said...

"The reason that the French can use so much nuclear energy is because they allow the reprocessing that the U.S., under Obama, is just starting to consider."

And the reason that the US hasn't moved forward with anything whatsoever to do with nuclear power is that we (and by "we" I mean everyone but those horrible anti-science conservatives) were terrified of getting nuclear cooties and blocking any sort of development in nuclear power or the building of any new nuclear plants.

Now, after several years of taking the opportunity to demand that these same people, who tend to be wildly alarmist about global warming, act rationally according to their belief in the dire circumstance and stop blocking nuclear or get called on their utter hypocrisy...

Well, I'm not surprised if now "under Obama" some small progress is being made.

blake said...

More seriously, I don't see any point in discussing because I don't (and never have) seen any science in AGW, just politics.

But it was dead two years ago and the AGW cult just didn't know it.

Next up: Neo-Malthusianism.

Arturius said...

Well, when you make statements like this, Arturius:

the human race has survived quite nicely...

that's precisely the impression you give.


I suppose when one is looking at it from the glass half full perspective then yes. I on the other hand tend to have a more positive outlook on the future. Ritmo, if you think we're heading to the apocolypse because we're pumping Co2 into the air then that is your perogative. Mine is to take much less hysterical approach.

As I said before, we have two cources of energy that we can use that will provide a modern, 21st century society like ours to thrive; coal and nuclear. The former causes that bad Co2. The latter does not. As soon as the AGW crowd acknowledges we can use the latter to substitute the former in order for us not to regress to the 19th century in terms of lifestyle and GDP then I will entertain what they have to say. Otherwise, I simply dismiss them as cranks.

Arturius said...

It's kind of conceited to think we can do anything to our natural surroundings without there being any repercussions to what we need and have grown to rely on (over thousands of years) from those natural surroundings.

It's presumption, arrogant presumption in point of fact on your part to assume I think that at all. Of course we can effect our natural surroundings to good or ill effect. Unleashing a few hundered nuclear weapons will
undoubtably have a negative effect on the planet. On the other hand, I have not seen one credible piece of evidence that planetary temperatures rising 1 degree or 3 degress is going to send us back to a Mad Max society. Worst case is my condo in Florida will be under water and I'll have to find someplace else to vacation. That of course would need to occur in the next, oh 30-40 years based upon current life expectency.

mun said...

"...there skepticism..."
or
"...their skepticism..."
?

downtownlad said...

New evidence that scientists are being unscientific?

Care to site ONE example Ann? You can't.

You, along with every right-wing blogger in existence have come out AGAIN on the anti-science side.

You have definitively denied that global warming is happening, and have declared all global warming scientists to be liars.

Even a child can look at the temperature record, and see that the Earth is getting warmer. Here is NASA's temperature record, which shows 2005 being the warmest year since records began, and 2007 the second warmest. And somehow you interpret that as global cooling?

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata/GLB.Ts+dSST.txt

But Ann declares that this is all a lie. Or perhaps she just doesn't realize that 67 is larger than -27.

Yes - Ann is now part of a club, along with 99% of her commenters who say that -27 is greater than +67. Keep it up!

Ernst Stavro Blofeld said...

If the solution to global warming involved tax cuts and increased defense spending, lefties would argue that it's racist to talk about it.

As it happens the proposed solutions involve government regulating every aspect of our lives, so instead it's a moral imperative.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

TG: Transitioning from fossil fuels amounts to a war against breathing? And what role do manufacturers of windmills play in that war? Are they also going to sponsor bills against breathing?

Nuclear reprocessing never caught on in America for reasons pertaining to defense, not NIMBYISM.

I'm not sure that Malthus dictated fossil fuels be a limited resource. The limited number of dinosaurs and other beasts that lived under Sarah Palin's backyard less than 5,000 years ago (if we believe young earth creationists) defined that reality for us.

I fail to see how renewable energy or energy conservation is a conspiracy aimed at reviving the idea of mass starvation in the face of teasing a carrying capacity. But then again, I didn't realize that there were such things as "oil seeds" that make dinosaur remains self-regenerate faster than we can burn them.

And in any event, the physical chemistry of CO2 doesn't seem to have much to do with "The moral of Thomas Malthus' story..."

blake said...

No connection needed, Ritmo.

The point is complete state control over all aspects of life.

Now that AGW is over, over-population will be next.

AlphaLiberal said...

Ann Althouse:

Why do you believe that the evidence for man-made global warming is real evidence and the evidence of misbehavior by scientists is not real? .

Show where Josh Marshall said this. You can't and you're misrepresenting his views, Ann Althouse.

I have not seen Josh say that. Like me he probably would say that some apparently did but wise people would wait for the results of the university investigation.

Really, Ann, that's a dishonest charge.