October 6, 2011

"Why Conservative White Males Are More Likely to Be Climate Skeptics."

Headline on a NYT article about a study by sociology professor Aaron McCright, titled "Cool dudes: The denial of climate change among conservative white males in the United States."
To test for the trend amongst conservative white males, the researchers compared the demographic to "all other adults." Results showed, for instance, that 29.6 percent of conservative white males believe the effects of global warming will never happen, versus 7.4 percent of other adults. In holding for "confident" conservative white males, the study showed 48.4 percent believe global warming won't happen, versus 8.6 percent of other adults....

To understand why there is a trend amongst conservative white males, the Gallup data was cross-examined with research about the "white male effect" -- the idea that white males were either more accepting of risk or less risk averse than the rest of the public....
McCright says, up to 40 percent of all white males in the study sample believe in hierarchy, are more trusting of authority and are more conservative. Conservative white males' motivation to ignore a certain risk -- the risk of climate change in this case -- therefore, has to do with defending the status of their identity tied to the white male establishment.
A few things:

1. Apparently, the "white male effect" has been studied quite a bit. I'm not surprised that studies of white males yield results that researchers characterize in negative terms. I call that the "lefty sociologist effect."

2. Look at the global warming question from the opposite side: Why are liberals less skeptical? I'd say there is more "trusting of authority" among people who accept the assertions of scientists and think government can solve this problem. And believing in climate change fits nicely with the general liberal mindset that involves enthusiasm for top-down government solutions and puts a relatively low value on preserving traditional ways.

3. McCright highlights the risk that the skeptics are willing to tolerate when they avoid taking steps to deal with the predicted climate change, but there is also risk in imposing solutions to head off problems that might not occur. Since there are risks all around, we're not really talking about differences in risk aversion. These are differences in weighting and comparing various risks.

4. The article uses the words "skepticism" and "denial" almost interchangeably, but these are actually dramatically different words. Skepticism is part of rational, scientific thought. If you don't have it, you are gullible. Denial involves an irrational resistance to evidence. McCright's study title reveals a bias: These people are in denial; what's their problem? I'd rather see a neutral study, something that seriously and fairly asked: What psychological tendencies explain the disparity in acceptance of scientific reports on climate change?

98 comments:

rhhardin said...

Conservative is used in the sense "not lefty moron."

timmaguire42 said...

I'm getting really tired of the sloppy terminology of alarmists like the New York Times.

Nobody denies that the climate changes (except possibly some alarmists who think the climate was stable prior to the industrial revolution). What people deny is that the case for a significant human contribution to dangerous global warming has been proven sufficiently to justify the sacrifices required for amelioration.

But being more accurate would require both careful thinking and honesty from the alarmists, something we're not likely to see. And the likelihood becomes progressively less likely as the case for AGW continues to be undermined by new data.

Levi Starks said...

White conservative confident 52 year old male....
Global warming? Possible? yes,
man made? Possible? yes,
ending life as we know it on this planet? no,
human, animal, plant life adapting to changing climatic conditions that may, or may not occur? definitely.

Fred4Pres said...

Well I guess this explains how they got guys to storm beaches at Normandy and in the Pacific.

Joe said...

I self identify as a conservative white male and I am skeptical that:

1. Such global warming as may be occurring is anthropogenic in origin,

2. The cost of proposed cures would be worth the cost, and

3. Climate research is uninfluenced by political correctness. An example I have heard is that it is far harder to get money to study the mating habits of some obscure critter than it is to get money to study how those mating habits are affected by global warming. Researchers have a self interest in finding a problem.

Obviously I must be anti-science.

Fred4Pres said...

Of course, part of the reason could be conservatives actually talk critically about climate change so there is dialog on the subject. In more liberal circles it is impolite or rude to even question the theory.

Truth is climate change happens all the time (because climate is not fixed), it is both a natural phenonmenon with manmade components, and we really do not know the full extent of what is going on. A healthy case of skepiticism either way is a good idea.

Glad to clear that up for you all.

madAsHell said...

We just need to get rid of these old white guys.

oh, yeah....and tax the rich!!

Damn it!! Another conflict in my convictions!!

Henry said...

I long for the days when skepticism was a badge of honor.

While a member of the U.S. House Committee on Naval Affairs, [U.S. Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver] attended an 1899 naval banquet in Philadelphia. In a speech there, he declared, "I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me."

In the New Testament, the apostle Thomas is cast as the doubter of the resurrected Christ. Yet, Thomas was no equivocator. When Jesus decides to go to revive the dead Lazarus, the apostles argue against it from fear of being stoned. Thomas says, "Let us also go, that we may die with him."

Skepticism provides a basis for action, on the evidence that is tested.

Rialby said...

Joe - totally agree.

To be called a "climate change denier" all you have to do is deny one of the following:

1) Climate change is happening
2) Humans are causing it
3) Climate change will have horrible unintended consequences
4) Humans can do something about it
5) The cost of doing something outweighs the negative impacts of climate change
6) We can afford to pay that cost

Scott M said...

Nice write-up, Ann. Now, can you please get a hold of all the ad agencies in the country and tell them to stop making the average white male look like an idiot in all their commercials?

We had a meeting last month. We're sick of it.

vet66 said...

I agree with 9:29. What interests me is why the study did not specify the difference between AGW and GW? Are they ignorant of the difference themselves or are they simply playing the fear factor on the scientific illiterate?

Those who are dependent on the nanny state are more likely to trust pontifications from the high priests of Beacon Hill than those who understand part of science is questioning methods and analysis. What happened to the mantra of "Question Authority" from the acolytes of academia?

Until proven to me otherwise this wreaks of progressive censorship taught to useful idiots who salve their collective conscience by ignoring the current state of deterioration in our culture. Always looking to the glorious future they manage to put the current failed status in the rear view mirror. The conspiracy of power maintenance backed by the gullible.

EDH said...

I think you'd get a much more even response across groups if, instead of asking whether "the effects of global warming will never happen," you ask people what percent of their personal income would they be willing to pay to those in postions of authority to impose a solution.

wv - "ensurcon" = a sociological research methodology that ensures conservatives come out looking like evil outliers

Quayle said...

QUESTION AUTHORITY!

(Unless it is AGW scientific authority, then swallow hook, line, sinker, more line, pole, and reel.)

DADvocate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott M said...

Cue Gabe Hanna in 3...2...1...

Tim said...

"I'd rather see a neutral study, something that seriously and fairly asked: What psychological tendencies explain the disparity in acceptance of scientific reports on climate change?"

Yes.

But as a conservative American white male, it is increasingly impossible for me to accept that academics (or journalists, for that matter) are remotely capable of performing "a neutral study (or news report), something that seriously and fairly asked" what the facts might be for whatever it might be they are investigating.

More to the point, it is my conviction, based upon experience and evidence, that academics (and journalists) are so completely and thoroughly corrupted by leftist ideology that it isn't even possible to conduct a neutral investigation. Doing so isn't even the point anymore; rather, they enthusiastically whore out whatever remaining "credibility" their respective fields have in service of advancing leftist ideology.

Sooner than they think though, everyone will come to understand this, and when they do, the reckoning will not be happy - although I will surely laugh.

DADvocate said...

Good analysis, Ann. It's more of an attack on those pesky white males than a scientific study.

either more accepting of risk or less risk averse

Either? What's the difference between being "more accepting of risk" and being "less risk averse?"

up to 40 percent of all white males in the study sample believe in hierarchy, are more trusting of authority

How many of these 40 percent are in the 29.6% that don't believe global warming will ever happen? It's possible none.

Plus, as Ann pointed out, if they're so accepting of authority and hierarchy, why don't they meekly accept the word of the scientists, government officials, etc who are generally high up the hierarchy? Is it because the scientists so readily show themselves to be bigoted, anti-white male idiots?

I always thought my reservations regarding global warming were due to my studies in geology and history. Oh, well.

Nobody Knows That I Am A Dog!!! said...

I wonder how many lefty/liberal/progressive types would be cheering on "Global Warming" if Newt Gingrich were the leading advocate versus Al Gore?

My take is, as a conservative male, that the science is unsettled, despite what the Al Gore's of the world are telling us. I am willing to be convinced but when so much of the "science" around AGW seems to be fraudulent, color me skeptical.

iqvoice said...

I'm skeptical because a simple thought experiment destroys the whole notion of out-of-control warming:

In school, I was taught about the carbon cycle and that coal and oil were fossil fuels. But if coal and oil are fossil fuels, then that means that at some point in the past all of today's coal and oil were part of Earths carbon cycle. But instead of our planet turning into Venus, we have a clear geological record of ice ages. This demonstrates to me that there is no way that re-releasing all of that stored carbon can possibly result in a runaway heating of the earth. The natural processes that sequestered the carbon of the past, will reassert themselves in the present.

The Climategate scandal is just icing on the cake.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I'd say there is more "trusting of authority" among people who accept the assertions of scientists and think government can solve this problem.

The number of people on either side of the political divide with direct exposure to the scientific literature is exceedingly small. What the vast majority are accepting, or refusing to accept, is the assertions of politicians and media figures about what the assertions of scientists are.

Scott M said...

color me skeptical

Ah...I see what you did there.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

Brave Professor Althouse! The sociological Emperors are revealed, buck naked.

I'd say there is more "trusting of authority" among people who accept the assertions of scientists and think government can solve this problem.

Particularly when the sociological sheep use the word 'science' as synonym for Authority, and when they think that a vote of 84% of 'scientists' justifies a big chunk of everyone else's GDP to command the tide to quit rising.

They should pause and reflect on the Nobel Prize just won by Dan Shechtman for discovering quasichrystals. 84% of scientists ridiculed his discovery, and his boss kicked him out of his study group for insisting it was true.

But he was conservative - he believed in his evidence, not in that meaningless 'vote'. He persisted in his heresy, and how owns a Nobel Prize.

Patrick said...

Interesting article yesterday about the Nobel prize winner for Physics. This guy discovered something called "quasi crystals" but no one believed that he was correct. The pattern was "forbidden by nature." He made this discovery in 1982. He was ridiculed. He was thrown out of his research group. He "brought shame" on them. He was laughed at.

In 1987, his experiments were reproduced, and he was vindicated.

Turns out, the settled science really wasn't.

Chris said...

Perhaps conservative white males have actually looked at the science and found nothing but theory, computer models and no compelling empirical data to validate it all. Skepticism is a natural part of scientific inquiry. Social "scientists" keep trying to classify conservative or skeptical thought as a type of mental aberration.

Scott M said...

PUNY HUMANS! HANNA SMASH!!!

ndspinelli said...

There's a reason why we white/males still own just about everything in the world.

MarkG said...

The funniest part of the article: "The paper was well received in academic circles..."

I'm impressed.

AJ Lynch said...

So we are predictable conformists except when we are not? Unlike sociologists like Professor McCright who are predictable 99% of the time.

Titus said...

How do blacks feel about global warming?

Haiku Guy said...

To many who favor government intervention to prevent climate change, expanded government and a crippled private sector are not bugs, they are features.

SGT Ted said...

You need to add a :"bullshit" tag or create one for "sociology bullshit". Yet another attempt to pathologize conservatism as some sort of mental defect, rather than honest opposition to leftwing fantasy and strawmen.

MaggotAtBroad&Wall said...

The hippies didn't get their revolution 30-40 years ago, so they became perpetual students and got Ph.Ds with the intent of creating a pseudo-revolution by reshaping how college students think about the world.

This is the result. Those who rejected authority 30-40 years ago now appeal to authority because it suits their ends of a global redistribution of wealth and a more just world. And to achieve the goal, the ends are cloaked in noble and righteous notions of saving Gaia for future generations. Our very survival as a species depends on accepting these hippies notions about what the most complex system known to man, the earth's ecosystem, will look like a century from now.

Who could ever oppose that?

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

I tend to think that this study is proof that Aaron McCright is trying reassure himself of his own moral superiority and relevance.

William Charles said...

Probably because (according to GSS data) white males with high levels of education are overwhelmingly Republican. Party ID is admittedly an imperfect proxy for liberal/conservative, but it's reasonably close.

Steve Koch said...

To be called a "climate change denier" all you have to do is deny one of the following:

1) Climate change is happening
But we really can't measure it accurately enough to accurately characterize the climate change, let alone predict it.

2) Humans are causing it
Humans may cause some climate change but we don't know how much. Humans are certainly not the only cause of climate change and probably play a small role.

3) Climate change will have horrible unintended consequences
We don't know what the consequences will be. The net effect may be positive (if the planet warms slightly) or negative (if the planet cools into an ice age). Who knows?

4) Humans can do something about it
What? It is alarming that scientific know nothings are willing to destroy our economy (already in shambles) because of something that they understand not at all.

5) The cost of doing something outweighs the negative impacts of climate change
Most likely not true.

6) We can afford to pay that cost
Probably not but we don't even know what the cost will be.

Conservative white guys are naturally skeptical re: our politicized and corrupt media and academia. ClimateGate revealeed that climate science is corrupt and not very scientific. A lot of conservative white guys have the scientific training, intelligence, and time to study the climate science for ourselves and were able to determine that the case for CAGW is weak, corrupt, and political.

We then persuaded our local GOP reps and GOP senators that CAGW is a fraud. We also persuaded conservative pubs like National Review that CAGW is a fraud (by explaining to them that the NR "experts" did not know what they were talking about). We also persuaded web sites like WattsUpWithThat that the proper political response for those scientifically knowledgeable people who had figured out that CAGW was a fraud was to align with the GOP.

People forget that the GOP really bought into the whole CAGW bs not very long ago. Mike Mann was shocked at the rapid change in the GOP attitude toward CAGW. That change did not happen by accident.

edutcher said...

Anyone whoever heard of Nicholas Copernicus is going to be skeptical when people try to shut off debate with, "The science is settled".

Plus, that whole ClimateGate thing was a real deal breaker.

PS "Cool dudes"? Why didn't Ms Pyper just say, "Conservative White Males dress weird and look funny"?

SGT Ted said...

The reason we are more likely to be skeptics re:AGW is because we know bullshit when we see and smell it.

Most of us have raised kids and we recognise the types of lies, shaded halftruths and fingerpointing teenagers engage in when caught redhanded doing something wrong.

The response of the AGW crowd to the skeptics is entirely made of these sorts of arguments when confronted with the fraud of "climategate" and Dr Manns manipulation of his "hockey-stick" fraudulent tempurature data which was done to hide or ignore data which contradicted the hypothesis.

We are skeptical because we know when we are being taken by con-men and women.

O2BNAZ said...

Stephen Henry Schneider Nobel Laureate, founder and editor of the journal Climatic Change Professor of Environmental Biology and Global Change at Stanford University, a Co-Director at the Center for Environment Science and Policy of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and a Senior Fellow in the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment.

“On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but — which means that we must include all the doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands, and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we'd like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic change. To do that we need to get some broad based support, to capture the public's imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This 'double ethical bind' we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both”. (Quoted in Discover, pp. 45–48, Oct. 1989.
…and you wonder why us white males don’t always listen to the “smart guys”…

Maguro said...

How do blacks feel about global warming?

Ever see a rap star in a Prius?

SGT Ted said...

IOW, Stehpen Schneider PHD HMIC tells us flat out that they need to lie to everybody about AGW. Which isn't science at all.

caplight said...

I refuse to believe anything "scientific" said by a moron who pleads with a masseuse to, "Release my chakras."

This is like the old Soviet psychiatry. If you didn't embrace Marxism, Socialism and the myth of the Soviet workers paradise then by definition you must be crazy.

Carol_Herman said...

THE GOOD NEWS: The insane politicians who take money for nothing ... from the clinton's. To Tony Blair. Put all their goody wishes in the UN becoming tax collectors.

Europe hasn't quite ceded yet from the "union." They've been hanging wallpaper up on their losses since 2008.

But eventually, as Oscar Wilde was supposed to have said on his deathbed:

EITHER THE WALLPAPER GOES, OR I GO.

Basically, "climate change" isn't the issue. It's gonna be finding jobs in a shrinking world. Until you can harness a billion men ... and put them in uniforms. TO FIGHT.

Since America no longer has industry ... We no longer have factories where women can easily get jobs building all sorts of military ordinance and ships.

That Algore is a joke?

He was a joke when the democraps, with nothing better to do, selected him to be their nominee for president. Back in 2000.

Now? There's nobody on their bench. There's just Obama. And, a faggotty selection of senators ... who hold s "small seat advantage."

The avalanche is coming.

Which is what happens when politicians KILL the middle-class.

Put, first, the wallpaper in Europe has got to go.

Old Dad said...

The explanation for the phenomenon is really quite simple--Al Gore.

Hypocritical semi-hysterical boobs don't do well with hard headed stubbornly rational skeptics of any sex or color.

traditionalguy said...

The alternate reality Machine marches on.

Since the Hoax Science of CO2 warming the earth's climate has been exposed as totally fake, which leaves only one reason that Global Warming is still asserted anywhere.

That reason is world wide income redistribution by force.

No wonder most white males say NO THANKS.

David said...

Just more horseshit, unfortunately.

"McCright says, up to 40 percent of all white males in the study sample believe in hierarchy, are more trusting of authority and are more conservative."

Being conservative means trusting authority? Not for this sample of one. Scientific method, and any rigorous mode of inquiry, requires questioning authority. I made a career of it, conservative fellow that I am, and it seemed to work pretty well.

And what does it mean to "believe in" hierarchy? Hierarchy exists. Isn't the foundation of sociological thought the study of obvious and hidden hierarchies? Living means dealing with hierarchies (power), and unquestioning submission to power is not essentially a right wing or left wing trait.

Abdul Abulbul Amir said...

Note how the term "climate change" is used. No one can deny that the climate changes on this planet. Climate history varies from ice ages to ice free poles.

It is obvious that anyone that is skeptical or in denial about climate change is not playing with a full deck.

So what we have is bait and switch, where skepticism about Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming is derided as skepticism about the obvious, historical, continuing, and unavoidable climate change.

Roger Sweeny said...

...there is also risk in imposing solutions to head off problems that might not occur. Since there are risks all around, we're not really talking about differences in risk aversion. These are differences in weighting and comparing various risks.

Every discussion of "the precautionary principle" should start off with this simple logic. Everything has a cost; everything has a risk.

DADvocate said...

It is obvious that anyone that is skeptical or in denial about climate change is not playing with a full deck.

Coincidentally, the same is true for anyone who believes humans can or should control the Earth's climate.

David said...

ndspinelli said...
"There's a reason why we white/males still own just about everything in the world."

I hate to be the one to tell you, but that is no longer the case.

Scott M said...

I hate to be the one to tell you, but that is no longer the case.

He did say, "just about"

traditionalguy said...

Herman Cain is a black man.

He says the co2 causes global warming "Science" is a joke.

In fact it has become a big joke today. It is a total fail on every aspect in every real scientific study not based on fraudulent data and fairy tales.

Roger Sweeny said...

iqvoice,

There are lots of reasons to doubt lots of aspects of climate research. However, people who study previous climates say that the earth was indeed hotter at various times, some times much hotter. It has also been considerably colder--the last Ice Age ended only about 12,000 years ago.

Climate change has always been with us.

$9,000,000,000 Write Off said...

The Greek noun skepsis "examination", and the ancient school's posture was to develop rules of logic & inference, to suspend judgement, and to investigate & think about stuff. I find most AGW enthusiasts rely on "the science is settled", i.e., dogmatizein.

The great scientists are skeptics in that sense.

An aside: the Nobel Prize in chemistry just found a guy who spent ten years as a laughingstock of settled scientists (Linus Pauling included).

John Lynch said...

White males are more used to bullshit. They are lied to more often, and the lies benefit them less.

gregq said...

"I'd rather see a neutral study, something that seriously and fairly asked"

Do you want Unicorn skittles with that?

Seriously, the major problem with the AGW movement is that it has, from top to bottom, perverted "science" in the pursuit of a political goal. Why in the world would you expect them to stop that perversion when studying the people who aren't buying their BS?

In any real scientific field, if the researchers refused to give other people the data and methods they would need to replicate published results, that behavior would be prima facie proof that the paper was a fraud.

In any real scientific field, if you announced, as the East Anglia CRU people have announced, that you are currently unable to replicate the results you previously published, and won't be able to do so for over a year, the journal that published your paper would force you to retract it, and it would remain retracted unless and until you could give outside researchers all the data they needed so that they, not just you, could replicate your results.

Neither of these have happened with the East Anglia CRU papers, despite their long-standing fights to keep from having to let other people replicate their results. The only reasonable conclusion is that their work is fraudulent.

(Note: compare this with the "faster than light speed neutrinos". The researchers said "here are all the data, here's what we did with it. Anyone in the world who wishes to download it may do so. Feel free to try to figure out if we screwed up."

That is what real science looks like. Perhaps what's happening is that white male conservatives actually know what real science looks like, and so are completely unimpressed with the "climate science" charlatans.

n.n said...

Some contemporary anecdotal evidence, which vindicates the true spirit of science, and supports questioning the consensus:

Vindicated: Ridiculed Israeli scientist wins Nobel

Comet water discovered to be nearly identical in composition to Earth’s oceans
The origin of Earth’s water is hotly debated.
What we don't know.

Our planet formed at such high temperatures that any original water must have evaporated.
An assertion in light of incomplete knowledge.

Yet today, two-thirds of the surface is covered in water and this must have been delivered from space after Earth cooled down.
An assertion based on an assertion in light of incomplete knowledge.

As for the comet theory of water, they are failing to distinguish between cause and effect. We do not know the process by which the Earth was formed. We can only speculate on what was probable. The report is far from comprehensive.

There is limited, circumstantial evidence to suggest that regional atmospheric variations are anomalous. There is greater evidence to suggest those variations are driven by natural forcings, both within the Earth's system and from extraterrestrial sources.

In light of our incomplete knowledge, our response should be to pursue measures of mitigation, which are commensurate to our knowledge and estimated degree of risk.

There is no legitimate claim to effect a coerced mass redistribution of wealth. There is a legitimate claim to pursue reasonable steps for adaptation. Preferably with a foresight that recognizes we cannot rely on transient, circumstantial processes.

vet66 said...

I profess to be a white male conservative, praise be upon us. Channeling the late great Rodney Dangerfield in his famous statement in a college class on real world economics, I say we are ready to make a buck of our own regarding AGW/GW. Follow the real estate money. If homes on Martha's vineyard and other low-lying (no pun intended) ocean front areas start selling for 10 cents on the dollar I will gladly buy the "distressed" property.

Safe money will be on the banks financing the transaction. Fannie and Freddie would have to check with Barney Frank, Dick Durbin and Countrywide to be the first in and first out of the deal. Now that's FIFO.

Tank said...

Why Conservative White Males Are More Likely to Be Climate Skeptics

1. We're smart.

2. We're better at math and science.

3. We've spent the last 25 years watching one special interest group after another come up with "programs" "plans" "studies" etc. all designed to take our stuff and give it to other people.

Real American said...

so called man-made climate change is the just the latest "crisis" that lefties use to impose their top down big government solutions on the rest of us. They believe in big government first. They have all the solutions, but need to find the problems to justify implementing them and taking over every aspect of our lives.

Conservative white males are rightly skeptical off this crap b/c we've seen it before and know it'll destroy this country. Maybe we're the only ones who actually give a shit about preserving what makes this country great.

Steve Koch said...

If you are not competent scientifically but would like to check out for yourself the political corruption at the heart of climate science, check out the IPCC and ClimateGate.

Non scientists can easily understand that the IPCC is not all about the science but is actually dominated by the national governments of the world.

ClimateGate is also easy to understand without any knowledge of statistics or calculus.

If you are scientifically inclined, check out the Mike Mann hockey stick fiasco. Key phrase: hide the decline.

RonF said...

Conservative white males' motivation to ignore a certain risk -- the risk of climate change in this case

The presentation of "a certain risk" = "climate change" as being past debate tells you what you need to know about this article.

RonF said...

Henry said...
I long for the days when skepticism was a badge of honor.


Scepticism was a badge of honor for the left - remember "Question Authority" T-Shirts? - until they set themselves up as the authority. Then it became ignorance and partisanship.

AJ Lynch said...

I have a t-shirt that says "I am Y2K compliant". It's from 1999 of course.

So yes, living through the run up to the Y2K disaster predictions has made cynics and skeptics of many of us.

Hagar said...

It is a totally wrong way to state the problem. This is akin to taking a poll on whether life exists on other planets in the universe, and then acting as if the results of the poll answers the question.

The reality is that life may or may not exist elsewhere in the universe, but given the distances involved, we are unlikely to ever know either way.

Climate does differ from this in that we actually know a lot about climate changes over the millenia, and a study pulling the available data together from the several scientific disciplines involved would be a very worthwhile project, which would then give us a baseline to go from that we may compare to the data from the last 150 years and so perhaps get an idea of how things are going.

The AGW "faith" ignores everything we else know about past climate variations, and is based entirely on computer models of "adjusted" temperature readings from around the globe from the last 150 years, and the people creating the models are not that good with mathematics to start with, and their understanding of atmospheric chemistry is as questionable as their temperature "adjustments."
In fact, more so, since no one really knows that much about the atmosphere yet - it really is as unknown as the mechanics of the earths interior flows - and these people certainly do not know.

jimspice said...

This whole comment thread is like case study illustrating the findings of the paper in question. Scientific American has a more nuanced take on the study. Money quote:

"McCright actually agrees that the study reveals more about politics than any other personal attributes. 'It's not a biological or gender thing,' he said. 'It's a political thing.' Liberal white males are more accepting of government regulations and challenges to the status quo because it fits in their political ideology,' he said. 'When you start talking about climate change and the need for major changes, carbon taxes and lifestyle changes, [conservatives] see this as a threat to capitalism and future prosperity,' said McCright. 'So conservatives tend to be very negative towards climate change.'"

It all goes to cognitive dissonance.

Scott M said...

This sentence,

Liberal white males are more accepting of government regulations and challenges to the status quo because it fits in their political ideology

jumps out. Wouldn't government regulation become the status quo? Is it a political Oroboros?

Hagar said...

or fascism vs. freedom.

jimspice said...

And I'm so happy to see the mad props extended to the neutrino and quasi-crystal scientists. So if these gentlemen were to turn out to acknowledge AGW, you'd have to give that some weight, no?

Scott M said...

So if these gentlemen were to turn out to acknowledge AGW, you'd have to give that some weight, no?

Sure. But reverse the question. If they turned out to be skeptics, or the more pejorative "deniers" would that change your particular point of view one iota?

Levi Starks said...

Iqvoice,
What you bring up is exactly the question I have been asking, and trying to get an explanation of.
Before all of the carbon that is now sequestered in the earth was in the earth, it was in the air, and I'm thinking it must have been a VERY green planet during those years.

Ann Althouse said...

"You need to add a :"bullshit" tag or create one for "sociology bullshit""

I think "sociology" sums it up just fine.

Lucien said...

What does it mean to "Believe the effects of global warming will never happen"?

Does it mean that one believes that even if global warming occurs, the logically required effects will not occur? If so, one would be wrong by definition.

Does the use of "never" mean that one thinks the planet will never get warmer, or that if it does, certain projected effects of it will never happen? That seems odd, since many skeptics point out how frequently the planet has warmed and cooled over time.

Or does it mean that one believes that some or all of the predicted dire effects of gloabl warming will not occur in the near future because: a) the predicted warming may not occur; or b) even if it does, the predicted dire effects are unlikely?

Cedarford said...

ndspinelli said...
There's a reason why we white/males still own just about everything in the world.

================
You are 40 years behind the times. Free trade has caused the greatest wealth and jobs transfer in human history - from the whites to low wage Asian countries.
True believing conservatives and Democrat Owner-Elites equating free trade and free markets with FREEDOM-Loving!! argue that their whole vision is working spendidly. The masses may not have jobs, but the government gives them the money to buy cheap ChinaStuff and be happy. They argue that China's 30-150% tariffs on things like American poultry products and German specialty steel eventually will put China at at economic disadvantage...It's free trade dogma, signed off on by Nobel economists...you see!

And when it is pointed out that ending free trade and imposing tariffs caused the greatest rise in jobs, industrialization, and standard of living in America 1802-1860 and 1868-1930 ---the free trade globalists started spasming out and screaming "trade wars, Smoot-Hawley!, poor people without flat screen TVs!!"

Cedarford said...

On the other hand, the Democrat charge is correct. Some republican conservatives ARE ignorant and anti-science.
Just not a majority of conservatives - mainly those from the Religious Right - with rigid, dogmatic minds and also inferior educations comparable to Democrat core constituencies like blacks and members of government employee unions.

It is obvious when the scream "RINO!!" is made against any Republican that says "So far the data shows some warming, and human generated greenhouse gases are significant and rising - not in equilibrium. And it is possible that man plays a part and we need to study it and plan for changes if they are determined necessary."

Beldar said...

Prof. Althouse wrote, "I'd rather see a neutral study, something that seriously and fairly asked: What psychological tendencies explain the disparity in acceptance of scientific reports on climate change?"

That would be an improvement, but it still would be eggheads pulling stuff out of their butts and calling in "social science."

sorepaw said...
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Hagar said...

"'Social science' id like 'military intelligence,' a contradiction in terms!"

sorepaw said...
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sorepaw said...
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gadfly said...

Another liberal group grope! Why is skepticism toward an unproven (and in my mind, empirically unprovable) theory a function of a human mindset?

If the emotionalism of the liberal mind is at fault, it would seem that we could advocate/teach caution against judgement without proof - but we know that emotionalism replaces reason.

There in lies the rub, because even conservatives get on the emotional roller coaster as I did pulling for Sarah Palin's candidacy.

"Hope springs eternal" but why hope for an imagined calamity like "global warming," especially since we do not know if AGW is the good, the bad or the ugly.

Tari said...

The answer to the question asked in the title is, of course, "because they are a lot f**king smarter than sociology professors."

There: I quoted my husband without him having to open his mouth. You're welcome, honey.

Robert said...

Almost everything said here is correct. But why not be succinct, global warning, climate change etc is a complete and utter fraud perpetrated by mountebanks of the lowest order. Only fools or knaves believe otherwise.

Robert said...

Almost everything said here is correct. But why not be succinct, global warning, climate change etc is a complete and utter fraud perpetrated by mountebanks of the lowest order. Only fools or knaves believe otherwise.

Roger Sweeny said...

Levi Starks,

Yes, indeed, it was a very green planet at various times. Geologists call the time between 300 and 360 million years ago the Carboniferous because lots of green things grew and were buried. Much of today's coal (largely composed of carbon) dates from that time.

yashu said...

"You need to add a :"bullshit" tag or create one for "sociology bullshit""

I think "sociology" sums it up just fine.


LOL

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

McCright says, up to 40 percent of all white males in the study sample believe in hierarchy, are more trusting of authority and are more conservative.

Lol. Groupthinking bootlickers, in other words. ;-)

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

no, human, animal, plant life adapting to changing climatic conditions that may, or may not occur? definitely.

Great point, Levi.

Now you try feeding a planet in the tundra or a desert. After all, it's not like there isn't a lot of biological adaptation going on there.

Ignorant fool.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...
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Ritmo Re-Animated said...

I self identify as a conservative white male and I am skeptical that:

1. Such global warming as may be occurring is anthropogenic in origin,

2. The cost of proposed cures would be worth the cost, and

3. Climate research is uninfluenced by political correctness. An example I have heard is that it is far harder to get money to study the mating habits of some obscure critter than it is to get money to study how those mating habits are affected by global warming. Researchers have a self interest in finding a problem.

Obviously I must be anti-science.


You are. You cite no evidence for the gut(less?) feelings you describe above. There is no such thing as "science" without empiric observation.

Roux said...

Number one.... we've been out in nature and we know that Mother Nature is a bitch and she will kick your ass if you don't pay attention to what your doing. That includes going out in the woods or going boating out in the Gulf of Mexico. We know that Mother Nature is bigger than we are and we cannot possibly affect her.

sorepaw said...
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gregq said...

jimspice,

did you actually read what we wrote? Just curious, because if you did, what you wrote says REALLY bad things about your reading comprehension ability.

There's a concept you should TRY to understand: the scientific method.

The FTL neutrino authors understand the scientific method. They followed that with their research. The AGW clowns do NOT follow the scientific method when doing their research.

It's not about appeals to authority (a classic logical fallacy), it's about following the rules of the game. Of course, being a leftie you think that the only point to "rules" is to impose them on other people.

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jimspice said...

Yes, GQ, I'm aware of what you said. But if you believe the referenced scientists understand the scientific method (which you already stated as true), AND they support the conclusions reached by the majority of climate scientists, then you should be fairly confident that those climate scientists have adhered to scientific standards as well.

I honestly do not know the positions of the neutrino and crystal guys on AGW, but, if I had spare money right now, which I don't, would be willing to bet 96 to 4 that they acknowledge warming, and acknowledge the role of man in that warming (as long as the bet were part of a pool of bets on the positions of 100 randomly selected scientists). Care to make a gentlemen's bet and see if we can get an answer from these scientists?

Scott M said...

Care to make a gentlemen's bet and see if we can get an answer from these scientists?

What if their answer is something along the lines of, "there doesn't appear to be enough information available to make a determination at this time"?

jimspice said...

I would concede that as a denier win.

Any takers?

By the way, even if in the extremely unlikely event both scientists were to turn out to be deniers, it wouldn't affect my stance one bit. My position is based on the 97/3 split, and 96.9999999999/3.11111111111 wouldn't be enough of of a difference to change my mind.

Scott M said...

Why would it be a denier win? "Not enough info to make a decision one way or the other" is NOT denial.

It's good science, isn't it?

jimspice said...

Because there IS enough evidence to reach a conclusion. Saying there is not IS denialist.