Loading...
Global WarmingScience

Excellent Article in National Post about Climate Deniers, Written by a Conservative

climate change deniers

Want to understand why climate deniers refuse to believe climate change is happening despite a nearly perfect consensus amongst climate scientists that it is?

Want to know why “climategate” got so much attention despite there being no good reason for it?

Want to read one of the best commentaries on the global warming denier movement out there (written by a conservative)?

I highly recommend reading all of Jonathan Kay’s recent article, “Bad science: Global-warming deniers are a liability to the conservative cause,” in the National Post

The article nails these topics as well as possibly anything I’ve read or heard.

If you want a taster, here are some good quotes from it:

“Impressionable conservatives who lack the numeracy skills to perform long division or balance their checkbooks feel entitled to spew elaborate proofs purporting to demonstrate how global warming is in fact caused by sunspots or flatulent farm animals. Or they will go on at great length about how ‘climategate’ has exposed the whole global-warming phenomenon as a charade — despite the fact that a subsequent investigation exculpated research investigators from the charge that they had suppressed temperature data. (In fact, ‘climategate’ was overhyped from the beginning, since the scientific community always had other historical temperature data sets at its disposal — that maintained by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, most notably — entirely independent of the Climactic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, where the controversy emerged.)”

“…too many of us treat science as subjective — something we customize to reduce cognitive dissonance between what we think and how we live.

In the case of global warming, this dissonance is especially traumatic for many conservatives, because they have based their whole worldview on the idea that unfettered capitalism — and the asphalt-paved, gas-guzzling consumer culture it has spawned — is synonymous with both personal fulfillment and human advancement. The global-warming hypothesis challenges that fundamental dogma, perhaps fatally.”

“Rants and slogans may help conservatives deal with the emotional problem of cognitive dissonance. But they aren’t the building blocks of a serious ideological movement. And the impulse toward denialism must be fought if conservatism is to prosper in a century when environmental issues will assume an ever greater profile on this increasingly hot, parched, crowded planet. Otherwise, the movement will come to be defined — and discredited — by its noisiest cranks and conspiracists.”

The whole piece is extremely well-written and worth a full read. I highly recommend it.

Like this article? Connect with me on Facebook or Twitter

Photo Credit:  davesag via flickr





14 comments
  1. American Patriot

    I’m not a scientist so I can’t comment at that level. However, I AM intelligent enough to recognize CORRUPTION and SCAMS such as Glenn Beck has laid out VERY CLEARLY for all to see….naming names. ANYONE who is clearly shown to be engaged in a corrupt scam such as this….should SPEAK UP and clear their name while Beck is on the air….just as he invites you to do, and prove to us that you are being wrongly accused. If you truly think Beck is spreading lies….PROVE IT. Before I would even take the time to ‘think’ about Global Warming, I want to see ALL the Corrupt Morons removed from the picture. It just happens that the same players involved in Global Warming, are the SAME players involved in One World Governance and other Socialist/Communist activities spreading the wealth. Sorry but we’re already tapped out. There is no more money to put in the pockets of these Frauds. Looks like it will be several generations before we can afford to tackle Global Warming. So forget about it. You should instead concern yourselves with all the Nuclear fallout in the atmosphere after Iran goes nuclear. Get your priorities straight. When the corrupt players are removed from the picture, maybe we’ll talk about it further.

    1. Zachary Shahan

      @American Patriot: addressing global warming is good for the economy — independent studies by bodies such as the CBO have shown that repeatedly. yes, the same corrupt tactics used to deny that smoking causes cancer are being used to deny that global warming is happening. i’m sorry if you are more concerned about those in government trying to protect people than you are of those in government taking money from big oil and big coal and then refusing to act on clear scientific findings showing that we are threatening the health and well-being of humans EVERYWHERE — not just in the developing world.

  2. Stephen Akins

    I would like to point out that very few climate "deniers" actually claim there is NO global warming. The "deniers" only questions whether or not there is anthropomorphic global warming or whether there are climate cycles that the earth moves through regularly.

    For instance, "warmers" often deny that the Roman and Medieval warm periods didn't exist at all (e.g. Michael Mann's hockey stick graph) or the ice ages. They deny that the poles have melted multiple times (and somehow the polar bears survived) or that the history books USED to call the medieval warm period as the "Age of Plenty", where there were vineyards in Scotland and cattle grazing in Greenland.

    I'll admit I haven't read the article yet (I will now) but I just wanted make sure if you are going to use derogatory terms like "denier" then you should at least argue their position correctly.

    BTW – the climategate scandal was more about the abysmally poor professional/scientific conduct of these so called leading authorities on the topic; as well as they're very poor methodologies. And if you want to discuss being bad at math, you may want to do some of your own research regarding the trouble NASA is in now for it's own bad math (not having had any actual mathematicians in the GISS, they apparently missed the fact that our atmosphere is 3D, and grossly over-estimated earth's "Energy Budget". There has long been huge disagreement internally at NASA as to the validity of their own reports (see: http://climatology.suite101.com/article.cfm/no-gr….

    My recent post Getting my Images on Canvas

    1. Zach

      climate "deniers" would be people *denying* that climate change is happening. climate skeptics would be what you are talking about. the point you bring up here regarding other warming periods has been debunked continuously — but i don't think you are interested in looking into it.

      climate gate was clearly a pre-orchestrated (and successful) attempt to throw international climate negotiations off track. that's what it was. and to confuse the public about climate change for as long as possible.

      look at NASA data yourself, or other data from institutions around the world keep track of this. there is no uncertainty.

      1. Stephen Akins

        Well you may be right about the term denier vs. skeptic. It's are for me to keep up with the name calling. I hope I'm using the term "warmer" correctly.

        First off, don't assume I won't look at your data. I'm quite happy to look into anything you have to show me about the warm periods. You are wrong about them being debunked. I do know, for instance, that a lot of the warmers claim the medieval warm period was restricted to just Europe. That, however, has been disproved several times. For instance, see the following:

        Kreutz, K.J., Mayewski, P.A., Meeker, L.D., Twickler, M.S., Whitlow, S.I. and Pittalwala, I.I. 1997: Bipolar changes in atmospheric circulation during the Little Ice Age. Science 277, 1294–96.

        Thompson, L.G., Mosley-Thompson, E., Dansgaard, W. and Gootes, P.M. 1986. The Little Ice Age as recorded in the stratigraphy of the tropical Quelccaya Ice Cap. Science 234:361-364

        Nesje, A. and Dahl, S.O. 2000. Glaciers and environmental change. Arnold, London, 203 p.
        a b Nunn, P.D. 2000. Environmental catastrophe in the Pacific Islands around A.D. 1300. Geoarchaeology 15/7, p. 715-740

        Pollack, H. N., Huang, S. and Smerdon, J. E. 2006. Five centuries of climate change in Australia: the view from underground. J. Quaternary Sci., Vol. 21 pp. 701–706. ISSN 0267–8179

        Araneda, A., F. Torrejón, M. Aguayo, L. Torres, F. Cruces, M. Cisternas, and R. Urrutia. 2007. Historical records of San Rafael glacier advances (North Patagonian Icefield): another clue to ‘Little Ice Age’ timing in southern Chile? The Holocene, 17, 987-998.

        Anyway, my point is, contrary to what warmers claim, the debate is very far from over. Personally I haven't decided what's going on except that I don't believe we have a very good idea at all and that this has become such a politicalised issue even the scientists have become politicians.
        My recent post Getting my Images on Canvas

        1. Zach

          well, when you say look at what "these scientists" found and then say that even the scientists have become politicans and we can't trust them, you are contradicting yourself. the most prestigious scientific bodies in the world, and the top scientists in the world, have said that the science is solid and that we need to do something about it. if that doesn't get your attention, why would you listen to a little green blogger like me?
          http://climateprogress.org/2010/02/13/science-met
          http://planetsave.com/2010/05/07/255-leading-scie
          http://planetsave.com/2010/06/27/the-scientists-d

      2. Stephen Akins

        btw – have you read the climategate emails in question? IF you haven't, I strongly suggest you read say, a dozen of the most contentious. Then tell me if you think these people were acting like the professionals/scientists that you want on the UN's top climate change advisers.
        My recent post Getting my Images on Canvas

        1. Zach

          I've read them, and as all the independent investigations have proven, there is no reason to doubt their science or the conclusions they came to.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *