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Global on fire
Even some know-nothings are wising up about global warming.
Hamilton Nolan has it nailed regarding the new AP-GfK Poll on climate change:
For many years, America's idiots have had doubts about global warming. Why is there still snow in the winter? What if temperatures are randomly controlled by god's wrath? And how about the fact that I like my SUV, bitch? Many qualified scientists have struggled in vain to answer these questions to the satisfaction of America's idiots. But according to a new poll, good ol' Mother Nature, or Jesus, or whoever the fuck may have done the job for them, what with all the storms and whatnot. Yes, almost 80% of Americans believe in global warming. The key finding, though, is that support for the clearly true idea is gaining strength among idiots.
At 78 percent, the overall proportion of people in the poll who think temperatures are rising isn't the highest it has ever been. That was 85 percent in 2006, a year after Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans. By 2009, the percentage had fallen to 73 percent.

It's not that diehard deniers are coming around. What's different in the latest poll is that the biggest switch occurred among that cohort of people "who trust scientists only a little or not at all." Of those surveyed, about a third were in that category. Sixty-one percent of them now say temperatures have been rising in the past century. In 2009, another AP-GfK poll found just 47 percent of scientist-doubters thought global warming was happening. (For comparison, AP reporter Seth Borenstein notes, "Among scientists who write about the issue in peer-reviewed literature, the belief in global warming is about 97 percent, according to a 2010 scientific study.")

This is an important development because, often in the past, opinion about climate change doesn’t move much in core groups—like those who deny it exists and those who firmly believe it’s an alarming problem, said Jon Krosnick, a Stanford University social psychologist and pollster. Krosnick, who consulted with The Associated Press on the poll questions, said the changes the poll shows aren’t in the hard-core “anti-warming” deniers, but in the next group, who had serious doubts.

”They don’t believe what the scientists say, they believe what the thermometers say,” Krosnick said. “Events are helping these people see what scientists thought they had been seeing all along.”

In other words, some people don't believe it until they see it. As Nolan points out, even some idiots have the "mental dexterity to change their mind about something when that thing is demonstrated in a way that involves flooding said idiots' houses. Floods were in the Bible. Do the math."

Such harsh (but accurate) assessments aren't going to win any points for persuasiveness among the science-doubters who STILL don't think global warming is happening. But, as the survey makes obvious, mere words have done about all they can do.

The problem isn't this small remaining cohort of know-nothings who are slowly changing their minds. It is rather with the malicious elected obstructionists and self-interested corporatists. Plenty of them know full well that human-caused global warming is happening. They just aren't willing to do anything about it until it hits them where they live, the pocketbook or the ballot box. Making that hit a reality is the No. 1 task of climate-change activists.

Delay is denial.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:38 AM PST.

Also republished by Climate Hawks and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  to be honest, they only believe it (15+ / 0-)

    because, in their minds, it matches up with the book of Revelation, whose "predictions" some of them rather want.

    pseudoscience can kill

    by terrypinder on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:47:58 AM PST

  •  there are too many politicians (11+ / 0-)

    who understand the science and yet do nothing.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:50:32 AM PST

    •  We must keep pushing? (3+ / 0-)

      Presidents Day Weekend, 2013
      Dear friends,

      From families like Michael’s, hit by monster storms and fires, to drought-stricken farmers in the Midwest, millions of Americans are already feeling the disastrous effects of the climate crisis in their own lives.

      It’s never been clearer that we need bold and immediate climate leadership -  that’s why this Presidents Day weekend thousands of activists will head to the White House and tell President Obama to shut down the climate-killing Keystone XL pipeline once and for all.

      Something this big has to start early, and it has to start with the people who care the most.Commit to join us in Washington D.C. on February 17th and make Presidents Day the biggest climate demonstration yet:

      Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

      by divineorder on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 11:09:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't believe that for a minute. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Creosote, eps62

      I believe there are plenty of politicians convinced that they understand the science and worry as much that they will do something as I worry that they won't.

      The science behind this is not easy for a lay person.
      It certainly isn't easy for me, and I have two graduate degrees and spent ten years in statistical jobs that required constructing system models.

      Climate stuff broke my brain, and I'm pretty sure I understand it better by sheer force of will and effort than the vast majority of lay people.

      And trying to address the problem is ten times harder than trying to understand it.

      Which is probably just as well when you consider how far along the curve we are.

      I haven't checked lately -- have we crossed 400ppm, or are we another Chinese power plant or two away from that?

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:42:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Until we attach a cost/price (6+ / 0-)

    to the production of E-Z Cheap energy,
    there is little "incentive" to change (in the short run)

    The economic burden should be on the suppliers of CO2.

    The SCOTUS ruled that the EPA, had the responsibility to regulate CO2 to protect the public:

    Environmentalists hail Supreme Court ruling on carbon
    April 3, 2007

    The suppliers who spew out CO2 by-products, continue fighting the ruling:

    Federal Appeals Court Upholds CO2 Rules
    June 26, 2012

    Even as those in the Environmental-know continue to advocate for a Carbon Tax now:

    Study: We Can Cut Carbon Pollution One Third By Closing ‘Carbon Loophole’ Through The Clean Air Act
    by Whitney Allen, Climate Guest Blogger, -- Dec 6, 2012

    All the while, the O&G industries are raking it in.

    CASH -- by the Truckload.

    Isn't it time to fix the Filibuster?
    -- Here's how.

    by jamess on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:54:09 AM PST

    •  It's going to be... (9+ / 0-)

      The insurance industry (God help us) that will finally bring this to the forefront.  Wanna insure that house in the Hamptons?  It's going to cost you.  Florida?  Pretty much going to be uninsurable.  

      'Goodwill' between the GOP and the President is as abundant as unicorn farts - Me'

      by RichM on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 10:05:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  People always say this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      we have to tax THEM those who sell us what we want to buy.

      I propose that we tax US the users of the fuel.  A very heavy tax/fee at the user end.  this is the only feasible way I see to lower the use of fossil fuels, if it hits people in the wallet.  "they" will pass the price on to us any way and not feel it at all.  Tax/fee the hell out of the use and put that money in a fund to mitigate the effects of climate change, to rebuild infrastructure where appropriate and to move communities where it is not practical to rebuild (if it is going to flood again next year, and the year after, etc it would be less expensive to move than to keep rebuilding.)

      I know that this idea will not be well received even as I write it, but I gotta put it out there.

      Because I know we are in trouble and we need to look to ourselves for the answer not blame "them"

      •  Taxing US has some potential. (0+ / 0-)

        The biggest stumbling block in regulating CO2 is that we can't touch the places where CO2 emissions are growing rapidly: China and other emerging economies.

        All we can really do by targeting emitters is to punish our own industries even further and send more and more production (and jobs) to more poorly regulated countries.   Net result: we hurt Americans without helping the environment.

        If, however, we were to task consumption based on carbon emissions, we could do that without regard for where the carbon was emitted. That could touch China and not place American industries at an unfair disadvantage.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:46:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Most locals here in Arkansas believe (5+ / 0-)

    but not because of science. They see the evidence with their own eyes. The climate zones have shifted North and it's extended the growing season.  

    "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

    by sceptical observer on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 10:01:58 AM PST

  •  Why is there a disproportionate number of... (8+ / 0-)

    ... these un-science idiots on the House Science Committee? Lemme answer my own question: Because Republicans want to prove that government doesn't work and thus should be smaller (and outsourced).

    So, if they leave it to big business, big business looks at the insurance industry actuaries who are predicting big damage due to weather events in the future.

    i just baptized andrew breitbart into the church of islam, planned parenthood, the girl scouts and three teachers unions. - @blainecapatch

    by bobinson on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 10:02:08 AM PST

    •  Starting with outsourcing weather data (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      where the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), parent of the National Weather Service, is constantly under anti-science assault.  Gathering comprehenive OPEN data records on sea and air events, is WAY too threatening.  Regulating fisheries etc. ain't too popular either.

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 12:41:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's that ol 2X4 up side the head thing (4+ / 0-)

    first you have to get their attention. In this case the 2X4 is their own thermometers.

    Just in time for Christmas! Support Netroots For The Troops with your on-line purchases.

    by TexDem on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 10:02:46 AM PST

  •  You said it... (5+ / 0-)

    Most people don't believe it until they see it. That's been our problem all along -- by the time they see it, the damage is done. There is a lot of thermal inertia, so the temperature rise appears as a lagging indicator...

    But good news, anyway. Baby steps move big things sometimes.

    Breathe in. Breathe out. Forget this, and attaining enlightenment will be the least of your problems.

    by rb137 on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 10:20:45 AM PST

  •  So now what? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TiaRachel, Simplify, Mistral Wind

    All those years of attacking anyone who even mentioned climate change.  All those years of violently blocking any kind of reform...

    Now that they see climate change happening (and likely too late to do anything about it), now what?  They're responsible for this.  What are they going to do about it?

    Everyone who denied climate change in the past needs to be put to work rebuilding the houses of people affected by Sandy.  They should be taxed to build that big wall we now need in New York to protect Manhattan.  

    (No, I'm not really serious, but I'm sorry, it pisses me off that their only response is "Oops, My bad".  These people ruined the Earth for their own grandchildren.)

    •  Like with the Iraq war and so many other things (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      J V Calin, Mistral Wind

      The liberals were proven right, but will anyone listen this time?

      Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

      by Simplify on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 11:12:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I find it hard to blame people for scratching (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      their heads, especially when the story changed from global warming to climate change.  

      I still think global warming was more descriptive and easier to understand.

      Not to mention -- gee! The climate has always changed, but it hasn't always gotten this warm this quickly.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:50:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  On the contrary (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Warming does not describe all that is going on.  One of the predictions of climate change, is that rainfall patterns are going to change.  I'm noticing this in my garden, as the variance in monthly rainfall has shot up dramatically.  No longer do we have the usual 4" of rain a month, but now it is more like 1" or so, punctuated by the occasional 6" downpour.

        Wind patterns are becoming different with changes in the jet stream, yet another effect of the changing climate.  

        If people are having a difficult time understanding, maybe they need to pay attention to people that are studying and trying to understand it, not the people who stand to see their incomes curtailed if something is done about it.

        •  And climate change is so all-emcompassing as (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          to be pointless.

          Global warming is descriptive, understandable, and actionable.  The things you describe are symptoms of the problem.  Global warming is the problem itself.

          Climate change can be anything at all, good or bad.  Worse, the adaptation of this mushy and ambiguous phrase makes it look like you are retreating from the position that dumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere is the problem because, well, the greenhouse effect is all about warming.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 06:53:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Warming is, in general, good (0+ / 0-)

            Going back through history, warming has coincided with expanding populations and wealth, while cold periods were times of famine and deprivation.  

            Among the climate change deniers, there is a contingent that point to the tundra of Siberia and Canada and maintain that warming will open up lots of previously frozen land to agriculture, so how bad can it be?

            The change part, the possibility that currently productive agricultural land will dry out, is not mushy and ambiguous.  It should frighten any farmer who depends on the rains to bring in a crop.

            The other change that enters into the picture is the change in population.  Before the industrial age, there were never more than a billion people on the planet, now we are working on billion #8.  All those people using all that energy, they are pushing the parameters of climate change.

            Maybe for people who haven't thought much about it, they need to be convinced that we are quickly getting past the point where warming will be all good.  Maybe the discussion with them should be how too much warming might not be a good thing.  But once they get past that point, they need to understand that there is more than just warming that is going to require getting used to.

            •  Warming is good up to a point. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              When it causes drought, kills crops, etc -- not so good.

              I use the population point a lot, as I've discovered that people are able to latch onto it.

              I refine it a bit -- talk about the change not only in terms of growing population, but a population where more and more of those people are moving into "first worlds" econominc status.

              It's not just that there are 2.5 billion Chinese and Indians -- twice as many people as the US, Europe, Russia , Korea, and Japan combined, but they are now buying cares and competing with us for gasoline and other things.  However much energy we thought we had ten years ago, we have nowhere near that much if the rest of the world is driving to work.

              LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

              by dinotrac on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 08:46:20 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Markey, Leading Democrats Introduce Drought Relief (5+ / 0-)

    Climate legislation

    This year’s climate-change driven extreme heat has contributed to widespread drought across the United States, with over sixty percent of the nation experiencing some form of drought during 2012. Today, Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), the top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee and other leading House Democrats introduced legislation to amend the Reclamation States Emergency Drought Relief Act of 1991, a law which empowers the federal Bureau of Reclamation with tools to minimize or mitigate drought damages or losses within the 17 States.

    Rep. Grace F. Napolitano (D-Calif.), the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Water and Power, Rush D. Holt (D-N.J), the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, Rep. Raúl  Grijalva (D-Ariz.), the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, Rep. Gregorio Sablan (D-C.N.M.I.), the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs, Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs are original cosponsors.

    The legislation reauthorizes and amends the Reclamation’s Drought Relief Act of 1991 to require that drought contingency plans reflect current water conditions and addresses long term climate change plans. Earlier this year, the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that 2012 is “virtually certain to become warmest year on record for the nation.”

    "It is in the shelter of each other that people live." Irish Proverb

    by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 10:23:54 AM PST

  •  To ba fair, depending on the age of these Dolts (0+ / 0-)

    They might be remembering in the 70s when the scare was we were going into an Ice Age.

    Though climate change is real, they might think someone is crying wolf again.

    All I got for dolts who can still deny the mountains of evidence.

    Texas is Texas, you know. The second you think you got it figured out, it will switch on you. Just ask Rick Perry in 2012.

    by Patience John on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 10:59:41 AM PST

    •  Though the Ice Age thing was pushed by the media (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Meteor Blades, Albanius

      out of proportion of it's actual weight among scientists.

      It's another case of one controversial study being grabbed by the media for headlines and running with it.  Even in the 70's, the "headed for an Ice Age" thing was marginal among climate scientists and really only one paper (among hundreds or thousands published that decade) seriously made that proposition.  But it made for good headlines.  

    •  that's FOX history (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the only ice age scare was a sweeps week article in Newsweek designed to sell magazines based on a misreading of a single publication.

      In the denial age, this claim has been expanded and repeated over and over again in the denialist press to create an event that never happened. Fox has created a fictional historical memory, kind of like George and the cherry tree or

      -- we have always been at war with EastAsia....

    •  In the '70s, Steven Schneider, who later became... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Albanius, dinotrac

      ...a prominent climatologist, was at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. He one of those who speculated about climate change possibly taking us into a new ice age. But he was studying drought at the time and desertification. (I interviewed at the time since I lived in the area). Very soon, as better data started coming in, he wasn't talking like this. He never made a big deal of it; the media took some speculation and made a big deal of it.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:08:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In the 70s, nobody made a big deal of global (0+ / 0-)

        warming, so it was much easier to commandeer the national attention (also -- just 3 commercial TV networks and public television) with a big idea like the coming of a new ice age.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:52:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Magic vs. Science (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, Albanius

    Global warming is because of the burning or fossil fuels or because of butt sex.

    We can deal with problem by prayer (and locking up guys who have butt sex with other guys) or by cutting back on our fossil fuels.

    You might think that sounds bizarre, and it is, but that's exactly how this debate goes.

    Blockquoate. At an appearance at Jerry Falwell's Thomas Road Baptist Church, Franklin Graham delivered a message in which he thundered, "There's been satanic worship. There's been sexual perversion. God is going to use that storm to bring revival. God has a plan. God has a purpose." Blockquote.

    Maybe we should throw a virgin into a volcano.  That'll fix it.

    Can't we just drown Grover Norquist in a bathtub?

    by Rezkalla on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 11:19:07 AM PST

    •  The grandiosity of thinking (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Meteor Blades

      that your own wet dreams will bring about the End of All, is a little staggering.  

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 12:37:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yes, but many of the prior deniers will now claim (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, this just in

    that global warming is not affected by man-made emissions, but is instead a natural event upon which we have no effect.

    So, burn that gas in your Suburban at will, we're all going to die in a blaze, anyway.

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 11:24:20 AM PST

    •  Since it's happening (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      obviously it's God's Will, right?  And who are we to interfere with God's Will by conserving?  Or by developing renewable techologies?  

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 12:43:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know regular folk who genuinely don't think (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lgmcp, Meteor Blades

        their wasteful SUVs and calls for cheaper oil ("drill, baby, drill!") are supporting a larger problem with our society when it comes to taking responsibility for our environment.

        They don't see the cause and effect, because they think it will cost them too much and doesn't fit in with others who reinforce the right-wing messaging in their otherwise moderate social circles.

        "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

        by wader on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 12:47:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Oh yes, they already are. "But it's a CYCLE!!!!!!" (0+ / 0-)

      they cry.  Now they are the science buffs.

      "It's due to 50,000 year-cycles in solar luminescence"  They cry.

      "The Earth is getting nearer to the Sun, which happens every xxx thousand years."

      "There is a slow cycle in the Earth's inclination to the sun (i.e., the tilt on its axis) every 41,000 years"

      "Sunspots vary cyclically, causing changes to the atmosphere."

      "The precession of the Earth (the extent it wobbles on its axis) is causing more solar radiation every 26,000 years"

      Sure, all of these could cause climate change.  But what are the odds that it happened in perfect synchronicity with the rise of human-produced greenhouse gasses?  And what are the even more absurdly remote odds that it has occurred within a few decades of scientists' predictions?

  •  It's been a long while since Gore's movie (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    atana, Meteor Blades

    came out, and here's something he was saying at the time:

    Living on Earth radio: Gore Hits the Global Warming Campaign Trail

    YOUNG: If I’m a politician listening to you saying this I might say, well, why didn’t he do more when he was in office? If this was such a passionate issue for him, he had eight years as Vice President, what did he accomplish on climate change?

    GORE: Well, it’s a fair question and I tried my best and I learned in the process that the opposition to the kind of dramatic changes that are needed is so deep and so ingrained that it may well be that the only way to bring about the kind of policy changes that are needed is to first of all bring about the changes in public opinion that make it possible for political leaders in both parties to do what’s necessary.

    I’ll give you an example—I went to Kyoto and helped to bring about the breakthrough that achieved the treaty there. But as Vice President when I brought that treaty back home to the United States. I could only convince one senator out of 100 to ratify it, the late Paul Wellstone. And it’s not that the other senators didn’t care or weren’t intelligent, none of that. It’s just that they looked at the state of opinion in their constituencies, in their home states, and what they found was, a situation where they felt that it was sort of beyond the pale, beyond the possibility to imagine supporting something like that without suffering real electoral consequences. So one of the things I learned from that experience had to do with the need to go to the grassroots level and change public opinion to the maximum extent possible. And the good news, again is that these changes are beginning to take place. I hope they’ll be speeded up and take place in time and I believe that they will.


    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 12:05:27 PM PST

  •  For people who trust oil companies over scientists (0+ / 0-)

    Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson has said that AGW is happening but that the right policy response is to adapt to it.

    If he pulls or has pulled funding for all the astroturf groups, we may see an improvement in public discourse.

  •  I have a problem w/"idiots" (0+ / 0-)

    We become self-delusional, in our ability to deal with these denialist groups, if we think of them as "idiots".  There are lots of reasons 'why' they deny science. (See here for a quick thumbnail guide to differentiating skepticism from denialism.)   Many of these are quite "bright" / "intelligent" people who are convinced that global warming is not real or is not driven by humanity due to their ideology or religion or financial interests or ...  They aren't 'dumb' or 'idiots' even as they are wrong and, in too many cases, outright dangerous.

    Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

    by A Siegel on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 12:50:41 PM PST

    •  I don't think many of the people identified... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      A Siegel the poll as not trustful of science fall into the groups of bright people you're talking about. These aren't the movers and shakers. As I said:

      The problem isn't this small remaining cohort of know-nothings who are slowly changing their minds. It is rather with the malicious elected obstructionists and self-interested corporatists.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:14:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The corporatists are already making plans (0+ / 0-)

        to drill in the Arctic under the melting ice.

        But there aren't enough of the 1% to win elections, so they pollute the intellectual atmosphere to mislead the legions of low information voters.  The limit of that approach occurs when people see with their own eyes weather outside their previous experience.

        There's no such thing as a free market!

        by Albanius on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 11:15:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Doing a VENN diagram (0+ / 0-)

        finds that these characteristics end up with a significant percentage of global warming deniers:

        1. Educated (university+)
        2. Faux News watching
        3. Wall Street Journal reading
        4. Religious (fundamentalist -- evangelical)
        5. Republican

        Have those five circles in overlap and we're talking about near unanimity of denial.

        They use their education to self-confirm in their denial -- with their sources of information ('news') reinforcing their false understanding of science.

        See discussion here re this Venn diagram and the military (officer corps / retiree community).

        Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

        by A Siegel on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:57:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  There is a variation of the HL Mencken (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      A Siegel

      saw about not asking a question of somebody whose job depends on the answer.

      Think about all of the Americans who live in suburbia, drive to work, etc, etc.  Think about the Americans who build the cars that are driven to work, build the highways, build the fast food joints, run them, etc.

      It's probably too late to avoid serious problems because of CO2 concentrations, but, if it's not to late, avoidance requires severe costs, life changes, and displacement of an awful lot of livelihoods.

      Carl Sagan used to say that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
      I would add a corollary: Extraordinary demands require extraordinary evidence. Plainly put: If you're asking me to turn my world upside down, I'm going going to demand that you show me the need in a very clear and indisputable way.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:00:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Your corollary is quite good ... (0+ / 0-)

        We already have serious problems because of CO2 concentrations and it is already too late to avoid having them get much worse.

        "Severe costs" is not necessarily the term that I would use re avoidance even though you are right that, at least for some, there are "displacement of livelihoods".

        So, if the last sentence is 'you', what is the "very clear and indisputable way" that you require and how to deliver that convincing "indisputable way" when $billions are being spent to muddy the water with false information?

        Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

        by A Siegel on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 03:33:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  For me personally, I've invested a lot of time (0+ / 0-)

          trying to understand the problem.  Unemployment helped provide some time, and professional experience with statistics and modeling didn't hurt.

          And still -- I'm not satisfied that I understand the issues very well.

          This stuff is a lot harder than people like to pretend.

          Calling people who are very reasonably afraid for their livelihoods and those of their children idiots and deniers because they aren't convinced is an approach for true idiots.

          The real deniers are the vested interests -- petroleum and coal producers, concrete, etc.  They're smart enough to understand the dynamics and smart enough to feed  comforting "information" to people who really want to hear it.

          I'm not a paragon of virtue in this -- human beings lose patience, and there really is a certain segment of the population that will never being convinced of anything -- but I generally try to address claims in a friendly and "just the facts, ma'am" manner.  I spend way too much time googling claims and learn a few things in the process.

          And, honestly, it's not just for people who haven't bought in. There is an amazing lack of knowledge among people who accept human-caused global warming as well.

          Which is ok.
          This stuff really is hard.

          Though not as hard as figuring out what to do about it.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 06:24:26 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  ... (0+ / 0-)

            1.  Just we're on 'same page', reminder that this thread started w/my comment about discomfort re use of word "idiots".  Question on this: did you click through to look at the (draft) typology discussion?

            2.  Actually, I have to disagree on this: "This stuff is a lot harder than people like to pretend."  Whether or not humanity is having an influence on the climate and whether or not this is a serious risk is perhaps dealt with by looking to scientific / expert authority.  (How to judge authorities is well dealt with in What's the worst that can happen?) And, well, the case is about as 'closed' as science can get that (a) global warming is real, (b) humanity is a major (if not the driving) factor, and (c) it creates very real threats.  Unless one is qualified in the science (and I don't rate myself there) and able to enter seriously into the debates/research/examination of which are the forcing factors / what are likely future paths / etc, the real question is what are the right things 'we' should be doing (debate about right policy / targets / otherwise choices).

            3.  Re 'amazing lack of knowledge':  We cannot be experts in everything. The world system is incredibly complex. I can be a pediatric surgical expert and expert at building bridges and able to make judgments about school curricula and know when is the perfect time to plant beans and ...  What is more valuable, as per [2], is to know how to judge expertise and assimilate the expert opinion/judgment into one's perspectives / choices / etc ...  Again, the 'expert' scientific opinion is pretty damn clear that we are creating a serious problem (set of problems) when it comes to climate change.

            Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

            by A Siegel on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 06:47:43 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I know that form prior posts of yours. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              A Siegel

              You are not the problem.
              From what I've seen, you are part of the solution.

              As to harder than people pretend, I cannot bring myself to treat scientists as a priesthood. I've known too many of them.  Good people who know a lot of stuff and have a lot of opinions.

              But -- even accepting scientists as authoritative, you find that consensus breaks down once you get past the main points tha we are doing very bad things by dumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and humanity's very survival may depend on doing something soon.

              Did we pass the point of being able to prevent catastrophe when CO2 ppm went past 350? Is 400 the number, or can we tolerate 500?

              Sea levels are going to rise, but how much and how fast?
              Is the best case, median, or worst case scenario most likely to happen?

              These things start to matter a lot once you get past the "Yes, this is a giant problem and we can't keep doing this" phase.

              If it's to late to prevent catastrophe, we need to push survival up ahead of mitigation. We may need to take the massive risks associated with geo-engineering.

              On a national level -- we need to think about where we're going to put all those people who live out in suburbs once they can no longer drive their cars -- and what to do with all those people who build,sell, and fix cars, not to mention those folks who build and maintain the roads they run on and all of the people who work in businesses along the roads they run on, etc, etc, etc.

              And -- will it all make any difference at all if China keeps increasing its CO2 emissions by 10% a year? Think things are bad now? Within the next 5 years or so, China is on pace to triple US CO2 emssions.  The rest of the world will not cut back enough to offset that, and the US couldn't offset that if our emissions fell to 0.

              All very hard stuff.

              LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

              by dinotrac on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 07:03:56 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Couple things ... (0+ / 0-)

                1.  I do like how "What's the worst that can happen?" lays out how to treat authority and to judge things. It isn't a "they say so" but a path to rating/judging how much to listen to various voices when in a domain where one is not expert.

                2.  Yes, there is meaningful debate / discussion / uncertainty / etc in specifics and details. The 'uncertainty', however, looks to be suggesting that things could be far worse than 'consensus' seems to be saying.

                3.  Re mitigation vs adaptation, while we need to be investing in adaptation, if we aren't working to mitigate we are inevitably going to be chasing a constantly worsening situation. There are many 'adaptation' measures that are also mitigation measures (such as renewable energy distributed power generation and increased energy efficiency in the built environment ...).

                4.  Re geoengineering, we need to be emphasizing 'no regrets' approaches to geoengineering along with more limited research / experimentation on more extreme paths.

                5.  And, I agree that we need to be working re the 'how do we move forward that enables people to live lives and have improved lives' rather than 'F-U' statements to large portions of the populace.  Re 'exurbs' and 'suburbs', would be nice if (at a minimum) we started to have land-use policy that started stopped increasing the problem(s) and started to move us toward solutions.

                6.  Absolutely. If PRC continues down ever-increasing emissions path, we are s----d for certain.  That path, however, is far from certain.  As I, with some decent amount of reason to back it, believe that working to address climate change in a serious way has huge economic value associated with it, I believe that the PRC is well-positioned for a significant shift in this regard to strive to 'catch up' if the US makes a determined push to a sustainable economy.

                Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

                by A Siegel on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 07:34:24 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I almost feel like I'm conversing with myself here (0+ / 0-)

                  I also think that a sustainable future is doable and that great economic benefit can result.

                  I just don't believe that it will happen automatically -- that we have to make it a priority to have a sustainable future that meets the ideals of our country's founders -- which is inclusion of all people in the pursuit of happiness and all that implies.

                  It requires sharper pencils and more thought, I'm sure, but it's obligatory if we are to take our humanity seriously.

                  I liked your post on geo-engineering, btw.

                  LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                  by dinotrac on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 08:31:07 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Thought you'd like this: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          A Siegel

          It was a real head-scratcher from a Glenn Beck listening relative.

          She sat in my living room and proclaimed that windmills contribute to global warming.

          I didn't even know how to respond, except to ask "How?"

          Here reply, of course, started out with "Scientists say,"  and was followed by "Scientists!", but the gist of it was that windmills make the area beneath them warmer.

          That I could imagine because they are basically big old propellers disrupting the normal flow of and removing energy from the air.  Sure enough, on Googling, I learned that a windfarm can warm the ground it rests on by about three quarters of a degree C, and low-lying air by something less than that.

          That has nothing to do with global warming, of course, just  a matter of moving thermal energy around from one place to the other, but it was new knowledge for me, and a reminder that everything we do has unexpected side effects.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 06:46:10 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  A video that needs sharing (0+ / 0-)

    This 26-second NASA video explains better than words how global warming can be real despite normal and lower temperatures in some parts of the world.

    Speak the truth, but ride a fast horse.

    by Deep Harm on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 12:59:33 PM PST

  •  Watch a dolt in action (0+ / 0-)

    "You get what you settle for."-- Louise Sawyer

    by doppler effect on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 01:36:11 PM PST

  •  I deliver pizzas in a tea-party (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades

    conservative town. I live in a town about 15 miles away.
    On my way home I hike up a hill in an affluent Republican area (mansions with another 1/2 mansion attached, I've seen smaller art museums). In both places I've noticed less Christmas lights. The town is filling out a little since with more lights as we get closer to the holidays. The affluent area still looks pretty bare. Several individual houses I remember that had elaborate displays last year either have none or have toned it down a great deal. Some have one string of lights. Some have one green light bulb and one red light bulb where there usual light bulbs would be by their garages.

    This gave me hope to continue the fight. I testified at the scoping hearing regarding the coal trains scheduled to roll through the NW.

    "...on the (catch a) human network. Cisco."

    by hoplite9 on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 01:44:36 PM PST

  •  just breathing releases more CO2 into the enviro.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades

    was a response my dad gave me a few months back when I asked after some pre-Sandy catastrophe if he was having any doubts yet about whether climate change is for real.

    Seriously, that's how bad it is. The Faux News Network has so successfully manipulated the thinking of their followers that his response to my point that I had turned vegetarian some 25 years ago because of its impact on the climate ... Well, his response was what would happen if all the cows in the world died tomorrow? We'd ALL DIE!  

    It is this sort of sensationalist thinking which truly takes one aback in discussing climate change with the fox-bots.

    The corporations aren't willing to do anything about it until a cost benefit analysis shows that they have the clean technology to create a global economy where they can profit by controlling access to the markets and capacities the world will need to adapt and mitigate.  Acceptable losses, in my opinion, are in the millions, if not billions of people, entire countries and cultures.

    In fact, the entire negotiating process, as one delegate from an LDC said is based upon the 3D's: Deny, Dilute, Delay. (or it might be 4 D's and Im forgetting the 4th) until the technology exists to deal with climate change in a manner which insures the corporate elite continue to control the purse strings.

    •  Sounds like some folks who call themselves... (0+ / 0-)

      ...environmentalists, too: The Breakthrough Institute.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:16:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  breathing just returns CO2 that was in the (4+ / 0-)

      air within the past year or so ... burning fossil fuels releases CO2 that has been out of circulation for tens to hundreds of millions of years.

      that's what the propaganda leaves out.

      An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

      by mightymouse on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:33:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  and sorry your dad is like this. (0+ / 0-)

      An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

      by mightymouse on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:34:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Deny, Dilute, Delay, Divide (0+ / 0-)

      According to Chowdhury, “an expression that is going around is abbreviated as "4Ds" which the LDC delegates believe explain very well the current attitude of the development partners”, for “deny, dilute, delay and divide”, that “are the strategic steps” showed by the rich countries.

      The meeting “falls far short of the expectation of all who believe that the international community owes a special supportive obligation for the suffering LDCs, particularly in times of current global economic meltdown that has been made more unbearable as a result of the on-going food, fuel and financial crises,” he warned. “Remember a key criterion for being identified by the UN as an LDC is vulnerability to external shocks that originate beyond their national boundaries. The recent world-wide rise in food and fuel prices has accentuated that vulnerability seriously jeopardizing the domestic programmes that aim at reducing poverty and meeting the basic needs of their vulnerable and disadvantaged.”

      “The European Union and its members who had played a key role in the positive results of the last three LDC conferences have been rather hesitant in pushing for a creative forward-looking agenda for LDCs. US and Japan as major donors have also been dragging their feet,” he wrote.

      Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

      by Just Bob on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 01:06:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The sad thing is..... (0+ / 0-)

      Is that the rantings and ravings of a small minority of people, the "doomers", if you will(I call them "wannabe Cassandras" though, because that's how many of them see themselves), are claiming that the end of humanity is inevitable, that we can't stop AGW, etc.....really did prove to be somewhat damaging, too; mainly in the way that the deniers tried to take that and spin, spin, spin, the issue to make it look like everyone who accepted AGW was a nutty CloudCuckoolander(apologies to TV Tropes). Thankfully, that's not working well for them anymore, but it's still an issue.

  •  i saw Chasing Ice yesterday (4+ / 0-)

    probably the most stunning nature photography I have ever seen.  audience members actually gasped at some shots.  it's divinely beautiful, and I mean that literally.

    I highly recommend it to anyone regardless of how they feel about global warming.  it's also a story about personal perseverance.

    of course the larger message of the movie is terrifying.  watching the glaciers disappear is heartbreaking.

    but the photographs, and the struggle to get the photographs, make a great documentary IMO

    "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
    Four More Years! How sweet it is!!!

    by TrueBlueMajority on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:26:18 AM PST

  •  Urban Heat Islands are well known (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and accepted (not to mention obvious to those who travel). Why wouldn't global warming?!

    No Jesus, Know Peace

    by plok on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:07:26 PM PST

  •  Our Planet Cannot Accept 1 Single New Net Molecule (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    of carbon gas anywhere on earth.

    If your ship sinks in the middle of the southern ocean, 2,00 miles from land anywhere: the next day when you're on the life raft--

    if you merely open your eyes, that constitutes a swing of your fist that has hit and injured the noses of all 7 billion people and all their property, which you wouldn't have done had you died or at least gone comatose.

    Nowhere to run. Nowhere to hide. I think, therefore I kill.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:16:09 PM PST

  •  we could use a poll asking Obama to start (5+ / 0-)

    a conversation about Climate as well.

    An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

    by mightymouse on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:20:44 PM PST

    •  Which Would Be 7billion vs one-third billion More (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      important to humanity, than the 1/3 billion USA popluation weapons issue.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:27:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  more Americans believe in the existence of (0+ / 0-)

    angels and demons or the universe was created in 7 days a mere 8K years ago than believe climate change is happening.  We have much work to do

  •  Excellent speech on environment by biologist (0+ / 0-)

    A couple of things mentioned in the speech.

    1992 A Warning to Humanity about human effects on the biosphere. Signed by 1700 scientists including over half of Nobel Prize winners. Little action since then.

    2005 Millennium Eco System Assessment - a multi million dollar, multi year largest assessment ever, published and the next day the Pope died and that was the end of the coverage in the press.

    The speaker is David Suzuki, a Canadian environmentalist. He was awarded the Inamori Ethics prize at Case Western University and gave his acceptance speech on September 6, 2012. I drove form Columbus to Cleveland to hear the exceptional speech.

    The content of this speech is more important than what we heard during the elections, and yet ......

    Lots of introductory material and can start at 26 minute mark.

  •  Those Who Labor In The Social Science of (0+ / 0-)

    Agnotology may have less source material, however, there is still lots of reason to hope. ;)

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