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As we all know science and engineering are just opinions so why not ask a lawyer or a politician or a talking head to explain them.

Many opponents of policies designed to reduce emissions or prepare for climate change, including hosts and guests on cable news programs, use inaccurate and dismissive portrayals of established climate science in order to bolster their political arguments and preferences.
And from media matters.
The top cable news networks relied on scientists for a mere 14 percent of all interviews when interpreting the significance of the climate report's findings. The outlets were far more likely to interview politicians, who made up more than one-third of all interviews on the day the NCA was released as well as the day after. Among these politicians who were interviewed, they were more likely to be Republicans than Democrats.
Yes because science and engineering are boring and hard, so let's have people who really know how to pontificate about a subject whether they have the slightest clue about what they are talking about or not, preferably not it would appear.

Oh dear there appears to be a 97% consensus amongst climate scientists, let's give equal billing to the 3% because it makes for better TeeVee.

Its like the argument against evolution, but the are no transitional fossils oh golly oopsey

We seem to have become a nation where opinion and belief are the equivalence of data and evidence, it is hardly surprising when we are subjected to uneducated blather 24/7. No crackpot theory is too bizarre to ignore, the world is 6000 years old despite all evidence to the contrary.

Rather than just consigning such blather to the trash can it is debated, what the hell for? To foment ignorance?

Yes both science and engineering change over time, due to new evidence and data they progress in a logical way, and  not because some half baked idiot decides it's a way to win elections.

I have come to the conclusion that conservative just means lazy, both intellectually and physically, it is far easier to do nothing; however some things have a finite limit to which they can be ignored.

Just possibly this denial is an evolutionary trait

Evolution required us to react very quickly to stimuli in our environment. It's a "basic human survival skill," explains political scientist Arthur Lupia of the University of Michigan. We push threatening information away; we pull friendly information close. We apply fight-or-flight reflexes not only to predators, but to data itself.
Data as a predator, who knew, wait, what, no, evolution is bogus, the bible tells us so, oh, wait...damn.


Update: An absolutely perfect example of a moron at work:

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) on Sunday said he doesn't believe that human activity is behind climate change.

"I don't agree with the notion that some are putting out there, including scientists,

Where to fucking start, I mean really how cretinous and deceitful can you get?

Including scientists, as if the information somehow sprung from Medusa's head.

Notion, what the fuck, decades of research is a notion?

Some scientists? NASA are just a bunch of people with notions.

Someone please tell me why I should listen to someone with no fundamental knowledge when compared to climate scientists?

Could they just kindly shut the fuck up and get out of the way.

Originally posted to LaFeminista on Sun May 11, 2014 at 04:26 AM PDT.

Also republished by The KETI Program and Climate Change SOS.

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  •  Tip Jar: My car is broken I'll take it to the (198+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sandy on Signal, joegoldstein, Horace Boothroyd III, Gooserock, The Wizard, MI Sooner, lehman scott, OldJackPine, ChemBob, a2nite, jadt65, ban nock, golem, DRo, gsenski, Tinfoil Hat, zbob, theKgirls, rodentrancher, Jim R, One Pissed Off Liberal, Tara the Antisocial Social Worker, The Lone Apple, Siri, sidnora, Ageing Hippie, jnhobbs, orrg1, Stude Dude, ATFILLINOIS, Nattiq, texasmom, FischFry, petulans, crystal eyes, deben, libera nos, thenekkidtruth, annominous, marleycat, xaxnar, Sylv, illinifan17, wilderness voice, glb3, deha, leeleedee, GeorgeXVIII, statsone, implicate order, lineatus, zerelda, Involuntary Exile, gizmo59, basquebob, P Carey, Gary Norton, Mokurai, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, Windowpane, Aureas2, Chi, serendipityisabitch, Naniboujou, Joieau, radical simplicity, Lost and Found, P E Outlier, muddy boots, polecat, shaharazade, carpunder, ruleoflaw, NBBooks, skod, countwebb, Yellow Canary, this just in, quill, badger, Youffraita, dandy lion, Mogolori, happymisanthropy, louisprandtl, Assaf, triplepoint, tofumagoo, JeffW, cai, keyscritter, peacestpete, enhydra lutris, maggiejean, engine17, James Wells, Kevskos, science nerd, Themistoclea, rbird, ColoTim, cwsmoke, kevinpdx, TexMex, Subterranean, nosleep4u, Orinoco, Catte Nappe, Byron from Denver, bnasley, psnyder, Magnifico, Steven D, Alumbrados, camlbacker, ginimck, Powered Grace, I give in to sin, Damnit Janet, kbman, Joffan, Calamity Jean, Sir Roderick, Santa Susanna Kid, Wolf10, chrismorgan, RunawayRose, mikeconwell, dewtx, Johnny Q, defluxion10, roses, devis1, sturunner, kfunk937, CAPitBull, RMForbes, KJG52, JVolvo, envwq, AverageJoe42, Laurel in CA, slowbutsure, peregrine kate, BlueDragon, fToRrEeEsSt, Justus, peachcreek, Bluesee, stevenwag, tmay, confitesprit, thanatokephaloides, rapala, denise b, Shockwave, cybersaur, dRefractor, yawnimawke, codairem, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, thomask, Ender, Teiresias70, George3, Slaw, avsp, BYw, CA Nana, The Hindsight Times, BlueMississippi, zukesgirl64, rb608, greenchiledem, rduran, liberaldregs, Turbonerd, YucatanMan, diffrntdrummr, yet another liberal, jbou, yuriwho, Mathazar, tegrat, davis90, DerAmi, radarlady, kurt, Unit Zero, tuesdayschilde, JerryNA, allie4fairness, groupw, ptressel, chimene, Oh Mary Oh, dewolf99, splashy


    "I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity." Nadezhda Mandelstam

    by LaFeminista on Sun May 11, 2014 at 04:25:55 AM PDT

    •  The best summary is from Pierce: Idiot America (64+ / 0-)

      Pierce wrote an article which has been expanded into a book. From the article:

      The rise of Idiot America is essentially a war on expertise. It's not so much antimodernism or the distrust of intellectual elites that Richard Hofstadter deftly teased out of the national DNA forty years ago. Both of those things are part of it. However, the rise of Idiot America today represents -- for profit mainly, but also, and more cynically, for political advantage and in the pursuit of power -- the breakdown of a consensus that the pursuit of knowledge is a good. It also represents the ascendancy of the notion that the people whom we should trust the least are the people who best know what they're talking about. In the new media age, everybody is a historian, or a preacher, or a scientist, or a sage. And if everyone is an expert, then nobody is, and the worst thing you can be in a society where everybody is an expert is, well, an actual expert.

      In the place of expertise, we have elevated the Gut, and the Gut is a moron, as anyone who has ever tossed a golf club, punched a wall, or kicked an errant lawn mower knows. We occasionally dress up the Gut by calling it "common sense." The president's former advisor on medical ethics regularly refers to the "yuck factor." The Gut is common. It is democratic. It is the roiling repository of dark and ancient fears. Worst of all, the Gut is faith-based.

      It's a dishonest phrase for a dishonest time, "faith-based," a cheap huckster's phony term of art. It sounds like an additive, an artificial flavoring to make crude biases taste of bread and wine. It's a word for people without the courage to say they are religious, and it is beloved not only by politicians too cowardly to debate something as substantial as faith but also by Idiot America, which is too lazy to do it.

      emphasis added

      Here's the basic organizing principles of Idiot America.

      The Gut is the basis for the Great Premises of Idiot America. We hold these truths to be self-evident:
      1) Any theory is valid if it sells books, soaks up ratings, or otherwise moves units.
      2) Anything can be true if somebody says it on television.
      3) Fact is that which enough people believe. Truth is determined by how fervently they believe it.
      Read the whole thing - or better yet buy the book.

      For a bonus, the Man Who Invented the Internets has also written on this. What makes it even more fun is, the reviews quoted at the Wiki link illustrate what Pierce is writing about - a number of them come right from "the gut". David Brooks might as well be official spokes-thing for the gut.

      "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

      by xaxnar on Sun May 11, 2014 at 07:04:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There's also the "argument" often made (30+ / 0-)

        that if your interests in any way stand to benefit from a position you've taken, that position is therefore not credible and likely untrue. E.g. if you're a scientist who gets grants studying global warming, your saying that global warming is taking place is obviously self-serving, and thus a lie.

        Of course this "logic" doesn't apply to Repubs or conservatives, or else pretty much everything they've done or advocated for over the past 35 years goes out the window, from supply-side economics to deregulation to the Iraq war.

        Or, obviously, those few "scientists" arguing against global warming.

        And obviously we can't have that.

        If you're a liberal or Dem, you're inherently dishonest and untrustworthy, and everything you say is a self-serving lie. But if you're a conservative or Repub, you're an America-loving patriot, and everything you say is the truth.

        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

        by kovie on Sun May 11, 2014 at 07:28:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Don't go to doctors, either (21+ / 0-)

          They profit from sick and injured people - healthcare is a racket.

          "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

          by xaxnar on Sun May 11, 2014 at 07:49:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  All manifestations of Hofstadter's theory (23+ / 0-)

            about The Paranoid Style in American Politics:

            American politics has often been an arena for angry minds. In recent years, we have seen angry minds at work, mainly among extreme right-wingers, who have now demonstrated, in the Goldwater movement, how much political leverage can be got out of the animosities and passions of a small minority. But, behind this, I believe, there is a style of mind that is far from new, and that is not necessarily right-wing. I call it the paranoid style, simply because no other word adequately evokes the sense of heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy that I have in mind.
            The paranoid spokesman, sees the fate of conspiracy in apocalyptic terms — he traffics in the birth and death of whole worlds, whole political orders, whole systems of human values. He is always manning the barricades of civilization... he does not see social conflict as something to be mediated and compromised, in the manner of the working politician. Since what is at stake is always a conflict between absolute good and absolute evil, what is necessary is not compromise but the will to fight things out to a finish. Since the enemy is thought of as being totally evil and totally unappeasable, he must be totally eliminated — if not from the world, at least from the theatre of operations to which the paranoid directs his attention. This demand for total triumph leads to the formulation of hopelessly unrealistic goals, and since these goals are not even remotely attainable, failure constantly heightens the paranoid’s sense of frustration. Even partial success leaves him with the same feeling of powerlessness with which he began, and this in turn only strengthens his awareness of the vast and terrifying quality of the enemy he opposes.
            People who subscribe to such "thought" systems aren't necessarily crazy, although they clearly are disturbed in some manner and driven by fear and emotion. In some ways it's more of a panicky than paranoid style, as if their (imagined) perfect worlds were suddenly attacked without warning by evil forces they weren't aware of and didn't see coming, and there's no time for rational analysis because they're literally under threat of destruction.

            You have to be inhabiting a fairly sheltered cultural and social reality such as still obtains in much of rural America and working and middle class pockets of suburban and even urban America, where much of the outside world wasn't allowed in or otherwise made its way there, and an attitude of "us vs. them" prevails, like the Clint Eastwood character in Gran Torino or Archie Bunker. Such people are the natural prey of modern conservatives.

            "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

            by kovie on Sun May 11, 2014 at 08:00:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  But they never apply that to the money hungry (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            thanatokephaloides, JeffW, radarlady

            Evangelists like Robertson.

            These are 'religious experts' gaining money for their religious knowledge, bit these 'experts' are to be trusted. The reason? Because the media has no reason to negate them, because they are already on their side.

            The truth is that the media is intentionally trying to deceive so they have to have non experts, to say what the real ones never would. They also must promote this absurd view that experts are biased, in order to give their non experts credibility.

            Its not the little people on the right that are the problem they are just the marks and I think in the long run we would do ourselves well in considering them as such. We need to stop blaming the right for being manipulated because that causes division and instead keep pointing out the deceivers in hopes of opening some eyes.

            You will open more eyes attacking the deceivers than the deceived. This is not directed at anyone in particular but us on the left as a whole.

            Join the DeRevolution: We are not trying to take the country, we are trying to take the country back. Get the money out of politics with public financed campaigns so 'Of the People, By the People and For the People' rings true again.

            by fToRrEeEsSt on Sun May 11, 2014 at 03:19:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  It's a common response even here (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          radarlady, LaFeminista

          And it's good to be cautious when dealing with experts who may have developed their expertise due, in part, to funding (contracts, grants, etc.) from parties who have a financial stake in the matter.

          But it often goes beyond that, to outright dismissal without any basis other than such a linkage.  And that's wrong, in my opinion. Sometimes the top experts in fields -- especially developing, cutting-edge fields -- are those who are funded by corporations who have a vested interest in the topic.  I prefer to let their work stand on its own rather than do the guilt-by-association trick. It was inappropriate work during the HUAC era, and it shouldn't be used by progressives today.

      •  The word "idiot" comes from the Greek word... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        psnyder, YucatanMan, radarlady

        ..."idiotes".  These were the Greeks that did not participate in the open democracies of ancient Greece.

        Unfortunately for us, many of these America idiots do vote.

        Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

        by Shockwave on Sun May 11, 2014 at 04:22:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  There was a great sf story (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LaFeminista, bartcopfan

        written by one of the engineer/writers of the 50s (maybe even Heinlein) based on the premise that the idiots now are running the world. (It's a time travel story) at first, the protagonist is really impressed -- cars run faster, etc. -- until he watches tv and then begins noticing that the cars aren't running faster, they simply have more sound effects, and everyone's an idiot. I often think of this story these days.. I think I've time traveled.

        (Thanks by the way for connecting to the writer rather than Amazon. I hate it when progressives link to Amazon.)

        A beggar on horseback lashes a beggar on foot. The beggars change places, but the lash goes on. --WB Yeats

        by kestrel sparhawk on Mon May 12, 2014 at 10:19:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe I should move to Florida... (12+ / 0-)

      and run against Rubio. My campaign slogan would be, "Marco Rubio, dumber than my dick."

      Many there would consider it offensive and that's when I would tell them what is truly offensive is the depths of Rubio's ignorance. As was posted on the front page on Friday:

      "In politics, stupidity is not a handicap."

      Regulated capital serves the people, unregulated capital serves itself.

      by Alumbrados on Sun May 11, 2014 at 11:27:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This Is Why We MUST Debate Climate Change w/ RW. (24+ / 0-)

    Because neither they nor we are climate scientists.

    How can we legitimize the loyal opposition if we fail in our duty to recognize that conservative philosophy has as high or higher standing in a technical argument as professional expertise?

    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 Sun May 11, 2014 at 04:36:17 AM PDT

  •  I think the consensus among clients scientists (15+ / 0-)

    is probably >99% at this time. Then parse the remainder (<1%) by the factor "Employer."

    •  I heard 97% nt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, thanatokephaloides

      "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

      by Stude Dude on Sun May 11, 2014 at 06:11:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That is from out-of-date analyses (7+ / 0-)

        of the literature that gave equal weight to scientific papers published years before. We need a new survey. These are 4-10 years old.

        NASA: Consensus: 97% of climate scientists agree

        W. R. L. Anderegg, “Expert Credibility in Climate Change,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Vol. 107 No. 27, 12107-12109 (21 June 2010); DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1003187107.

        P. T. Doran & M. K. Zimmerman, "Examining the Scientific Consensus on Climate Change," Eos Transactions American Geophysical Union Vol. 90 Issue 3 (2009), 22; DOI: 10.1029/2009EO030002.

        N. Oreskes, “Beyond the Ivory Tower: The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change,” Science Vol. 306 no. 5702, p. 1686 (3 December 2004); DOI: 10.1126/science.1103618.

        Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

        by Mokurai on Sun May 11, 2014 at 07:56:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  With papers back to the early '90s you are (7+ / 0-)

      probably picking up a bunch where the evidence wasn't felt to be quite good enough for scientific certainty.  Thus,  this shouldn't be thought of as 97% in favor and 3% against.

      If you read the older IPCC reports you can see this evolution as well with the earlier ones not quite willing to express that global climate change was unequivocally human caused.

      In other words, the issue isn't the employer of the scientists but simply that the evidence in favor of human caused global climate change has gotten stronger.

      Currently, the consensus is likely north of 99%.

  •  These stupid people are why we don't have nice (25+ / 0-)


    I voted tuesday because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Sun May 11, 2014 at 04:55:45 AM PDT

    •  Nice things belong to the 1% (16+ / 0-)

      "I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity." Nadezhda Mandelstam

      by LaFeminista on Sun May 11, 2014 at 04:57:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is absolutely true (22+ / 0-)

      and it has been my experience for my entire life. As a child of 6 or 7 I was reading everything I could about science. I remember thinking at the time that, with the rate of progress in understanding that was occurring, we would be able to resolve many if not most of the fundamental problems of society and structural technology during my lifetime.

      In my naiveté I was unaware that the stupid+fearful+dogmatically religious (approximately half) constituency of the population would oppose everything that could make  an improvement.

      •  I wrote a diary a few years ago about (13+ / 0-)

        what a difference the military budget could have made if it hadn't been used to create more and deadlier weapons.

        "I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity." Nadezhda Mandelstam

        by LaFeminista on Sun May 11, 2014 at 05:09:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Great Minds-- You Were Anticipated (11+ / 0-)
          We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.

          This, I repeat, is the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense.

          Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.

          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 Sun May 11, 2014 at 06:04:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Its not that simple (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            We started out as hunter gatherers. In that mode our lives were short, brutish nasty and hard.

            Eventually, we learned to make weapons and fight predators and rivals to get meat which gave us more calories and a better chance at survival.

            From that point onward leaders have known that the more times they spoke of defense the more secure their leadership was.

            When later we learned to be nomadic pastorialists, domesticate animals and herd them so as not to have to hunt meat, we could just butcher it at any time, we felt we had to protect our herds from predators and bands of rustlers and thieves.

            Then some of us learned to build settlements and grow crops so our women didn't have to gather or forage for food to supplement our diets and thus were less worn out and able to bear more children in more comfort and safety. We built walls around the settlements for defense and set some men to guard the walls and be soldiers.

            The thing about creating new technology like walled settlements and armed guards is that we were now as a group sharing a consensus to invest in defense as a survival strategy.

            Our women had more children and since our tribes didn't have to wander around looking for new pastures which was easier on the children and old folks, they lived longer so our populations grew.

            Larger populations were less subject to attack by rivals, but needed more defense.

            Some of us learned to build boats and go on the seas and fish and others of us learned to build carts with wheels that could be pulled by beasts of burden and go on roads between settlements.

            Traders with boats or carts could travel easier from place to place and carry extra goods they didn't need to survive and could exchange for a profit and become wealthy, but wealth was like meat, predators and rivals wanted to take it away from us.

            Merchant ships were robbed by pirates and caravans set upon by bandits so they learned to go armed and protected by guards. This led to navies and troops of cavalry that could protect trade.

            Now when one nation experienced drought or a plague of locusts and famine it could chose a weak neighbor and make war on it to loot and plunder its resources.

            Eventually city states grew into kingdoms and empires ruled by governments which taxed them to provide  navies and armies who fought wars to be dominant over their rivals and thus safe from them.

            When our over population led to the depletion of resources worldwide we used the great depression as an excuse to have world wars which we are still fighting in the form of "a cold war", "covert actions", "police actions", "a war on drugs", "a global war on terror"...

            It took us about ten millenia to develop the system to where its at today where our residential populations think their police departments require urban SWAT teams militarized with tanks and guns in every home, but I think its fair to say that we have never in our history stopped war fighting and if we did our populations would be up in arms over it.

            The United States is the world's leading arms dealer. More of our economy is centered on "Defense" than on commerce and jobs, housing, education, healthcare, safety nets, entitlements, all combined.

            If we were to try and change the system to redistribute our priorities, our wealth, the living we go out and work for; protect and defend against poverty and climate change, legalize drugs reducing the damage done by natural disasters and violent crime, home invasions, muggings, send people to school instead of to prison, we would put millions of people out of work.

            Building destroyers, cruisers, battleships submarines and aircraft carriers; navies, airforces, mechanized infantry, armies of intelligence services, servicemen and women, and supplying them with uniforms, boots to put on the ground, weapons, rations, bases, is an industry its hard to turn around and beat into plowshares.

            I propose to you that it won't be until climate change reduces us and our populations to the level of hunter gatherers once again, only this time with nothing left to hunt or gather, that we will come to grips how to scientifically engineer our survival.

            "la vida no vale nada un lugar solita" "The Limits of Control Jim Jarmusch

            by rktect on Sun May 11, 2014 at 08:05:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I believe climate change (7+ / 0-)

              will ultimately precipitate the greatest war in world history as nations battle over dwindling resources.  Shifting agricultural zones will result in famine, one of the surest triggers of war.  The human population will undergo a severe adjustment once the wars go nuclear.

              Civilization as we know it will not last to see the ocean levels rise enough to cause harm.  We will do ourselves in by war before that happens.

              "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

              by Subterranean on Sun May 11, 2014 at 11:38:34 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm not a believer but I expect you are right (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                My wife thinks I'm so optimistic she calls me chirpy. Its my expectation that there will be places people survive the resource war nukes, nuclear submarines maybe.  

                After that there will be places where people manage to decommission their nuclear power plants before they sink beneath the waves and Fukishima.

                There will be resource wars. There will be hordes of people trying to make it out of the tropics before the tropics become too hot to sustain life.

                There will be hordes of people trying to move from the southwestern deserts into the northern plains, and then as the northern plains lose their fossil water running head on into the hordes of people from the East and Gulf coasts moving to higher ground.

                There will also be drought, famine, plague, pestilence, unbearable heat, no relief from it, no electricity, no fuel, no stores, no food, no jobs, no government, no power to run all the things we take for granted.

                There will be crazies with guns everywhere there are people and I'm thinking people looking to kill them and take their survival kits.

                I suppose some people could take to the seas try to find a place where the oceans aren't dead and the storms aren't wicked deadly. Good luck to them with with that.

                People could take to the hills, everybody always heads for high ground, maybe find an uninhabited island somewhere... southern Greenland maybe, lots of bugs, no food, no soil to grow anything, hydroponics perhaps.

                That's why my wife calls me chirpy

                "la vida no vale nada un lugar solita" "The Limits of Control Jim Jarmusch

                by rktect on Sun May 11, 2014 at 03:10:48 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  "Until it reduces us to ... hunter-gatherers" (0+ / 0-)

              Pretty much spot on. The Roman Empire had to fall apart before the individual regions could become self-governing, Nazi Germany started from a totally wrecked economy and supply system, and this country will be no different: America will hit rock-bottom still clinging to all the wrong, destructive, wasteful habits it overindulges in now. As they say, armies that won the last war wind up doing badly in the next, because they do not change their "winning" strategy to face new concepts. The US just keeps fighting WW2 over and over, both militarily and domestic policy-wise, with "Wars on .." everything from drugs to poverty. The mindset is that ingrained.
              The unique twist in this situation is that it's not only political and economic collapse we face, but the new stresses brought on by climate change. To see how these three elements combine to re-inforce and amplify each other will be truly historical.  Unfortunately for most of our species it will also be unpleasant, maybe even fatal.

              Ash-sha'b yurid isqat an-nizam!

              by fourthcornerman on Sun May 11, 2014 at 10:35:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  As I observed in a recent comment in a diary (9+ / 0-)

          about antibiotics and stuff: If in 1950 we had launched a worldwide all-out antibiotic war on human-specific pathogens, we could have wiped several of them out, including chlamydia and gonorrhea, both of which most americans think of us merely embarrassing inconveniences, but which are global scourges that bring some nasty long-term health consequences.

          Instead we and the Russians and the Chinese built ICBMs and H-bombs and waved our dicks at each other.

          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

          by UntimelyRippd on Sun May 11, 2014 at 10:43:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You may want to read, "Critical path," (8+ / 0-)

          by Buckminster Fuller. In it he talks about weaponry (Technology designed to ruin life) vs livingry (Technology developed to enhance life). I think he showed that around 90% of U.S. Gov't money spent on R&D goes towards weaponry and only about 10% goes towards livingry. I don't remember the exact percentages, but it was astounding.

          Of course, you have to also remember that most weapons development isn't to keep our country safe, it's to allow us to pillage the resources of other nations so our corporations can make money. In that sense, it's sort of double taxation for us, since we pay all of the taxes for the Defense Department and most of the corporations also get our tax dollars just for being giant profitable assholes, yet the defense dollars are going mostly for their benefit, not ours.

          Regulated capital serves the people, unregulated capital serves itself.

          by Alumbrados on Sun May 11, 2014 at 11:24:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  How to actually learn about (7+ / 0-)

    science and engineering? Well, if you can't commandeer an actual scientist or engineer, textbooks usually do the trick.

    And if you want to learn about, well, anything, it's probably best not to take the History (= Hitler/Biblical stories/Ancient astronauts) Channel too seriously.

    I mean, seriously, giving a fair hearing to theories that would make von Daniken himself think their authors were balls-on-the-wall crazy is probably not a contribution to the viewers' education.

    Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

    by Dauphin on Sun May 11, 2014 at 04:57:59 AM PDT

  •  Thanks LaFeminista (17+ / 0-)

    I recently attended a lecture series on Climate Change. The speakers were all active scientists in their individual fields of discipline that were now being influenced by climate change. I managed to speak to each one after the lecture. The flip side to what LaFeminista is saying is that those Scientists have become cynical about the truth getting out; that the truth can't compete with the news organizations producing pundit driven entertainment. Every single Scientist that I talked to has the same opinion, that climate change is extremely serious and the the response to date is inadequate. The theme that some catastrophe may motivate action was often repeated. Restating this somewhat, it would seem that the media's refusal to do the hard work and to interview real Scientists will assure that it will take repeated catastrophes to get the world to the point of action equal to the challenge.

    Big media is big business. They want to maintain their influence with big corporations, various administrations, Congress and both political parties. The biggest, baddest example that I can find is the NYT and the lead up to the Iraq war. Can they ever report the truth? Are we going to have to rely on alternative media to lead the way to scientific public enlightenment?

    •  That is what the current political attitudes (10+ / 0-)

      have resulted in, and you have no idea just how much this crap has enraged me.

      Most multinational corporations have a business model in place that includes climate change, yet their mouthpieces still spout garbage.

      "I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity." Nadezhda Mandelstam

      by LaFeminista on Sun May 11, 2014 at 05:06:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How to prepare a business for climate change is a (5+ / 0-)

        business decision. What to say about climate change is a public relations decision. If by saying something at odds to the way a minority, yet still large segment of the public believes, well you've just alienated a large segment of your public.

        “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

        by ban nock on Sun May 11, 2014 at 05:26:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I bet even the Koch brothers have hired (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ban nock, keyscritter, maryabein

          people intelligent enough to plan ahead.

          "I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity." Nadezhda Mandelstam

          by LaFeminista on Sun May 11, 2014 at 05:27:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The Koch brothers are well aware (5+ / 0-)

            that Goldman Sachs, for one, has been advising against investments in coal or in coal export terminals for more than a year. The obvious strategy of investing in renewable energy is closed to them because it falls under what they call "collectivism", which to them means Soviet-style Communism. This is the sort of thing that has their knickers in a twist.

            The Collectivist Kilowatt: More Options for Community Solar

            Their daddy was a founder and major funder of the John Birch Society.

            All they have left is greed, fear, and delusion.

            Nevertheless, all of the money they pour into politics has no effect on businesses and the business press (except the Wall Street Journal editorial board) looking at energy in terms of real money as we pass through Grid Parity. It is becoming ever harder to finance coal-fired power plants, except through corrupt deals with governments, while existing plants are generally fairly old and will be retired at an increasing rate. Ever-more-desperate rearguard actions against wind and solar are more and more failing of their intended effects.

            Non-hydro renewables are at 6% of electricity production, up from 3% ten years ago. We need to double up again to 12, 24, 48, 96, which we can clearly do by the 2050s. Then we need to go heavily carbon-negative, which we should know how to do by then.

            That will not prevent major climate damage. It should prevent the complete catastrophe.

            Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

            by Mokurai on Sun May 11, 2014 at 08:18:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  "Scientists have become cynical about the truth... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Wizard

      getting out"... I agree 100 percent, The Wizard. A few months back I checked in on PBS's  Frontline (which I should do more often) to see what was new. The featured documentary was titled "Climate of Doubt".

      I couldn't get past the first five or seven minutes without retching. A discredited climate change "expert" from the U.K, if I  recall, was a hero on the U.S. circuit.

      I researched the asshole at the time, and any sentient human being would dismiss him in a second, but he's preaching to his followers, not skeptics, but uneducated cynics, and that works.

  •  Denial, its not just a river in Egypt (14+ / 0-)

    At the risk of being a bore, Im going to repost a comment I made on an unrelated thread an hour ago. The reason is obvious.

    Every couple of years theres a new study about
    antibiotic resistant bugs and the danger they pose.
    You could almost cut and paste an article from 2004, or 1994, instead of writing the whole story up again.
    It gets 1 day of headlines and a few panel discussions on the MSM.
    Then, nothing.
    It will be the same this time.
    The same reason nothing that makes any difference ever gets done to slow global warming
    Because the danger is LATER and doing something about it means a serious penalty NOW, in this case, the end of cheap burgers and chicken McNuggets.
    And we're just a race of monkeys who got smart, but not as smart as we think we are.

  •  News execs figure its a lot more entertaining (12+ / 0-)

    to watch James Inhofe blow smoke rings out his ass for 10 min than to listen to a scientist splain the findings. Thats too much like school. And you dont want the news to seem like school.
    News = Entertainment.

  •  Thank You for posting, this subject is one of (6+ / 0-)

    my favorite complaints regarding wildlife management.

    I'm constantly reading articles in some of our more prestigious magazines, The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, NYT, Mother Jones, Sac Bee, LA Times, written by people who have absolutely no clue as to what they are saying. Not even a BS in their background. Media articles form the basis of other media articles.

    We make momentous decisions affecting thousands of people by referendum or ballot measure. It's called ballot box biology. Would you like your doctor making medical decisions by having the general public vote?

    The other way we make unscientific science decisions is by the courts. If you disagree with a public policy of a scientific sort simply take it to a judge. Then you don't have to have the better science, you simply have to be a more convincing lawyer. So we have lawyers with no science background, convincing judges with no scientific background, that they should make scientific decisions for us. And it hasn't worked out so well.

    I'm frankly amazed that TV went so far as to interview scientists to interpret the report 14% of the time. If it were a wildlife issue there would be some cute screen shots of baby something or others and then an interview with a public relations person for Save The Something Or Others complete with a web link for donations.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Sun May 11, 2014 at 05:21:38 AM PDT

  •  Also, we all decide based on emotions... (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, sidnora, JeffW, k9disc, Garrett, KJG52

    ... no matter how well we rationalize... Rethug encounter/marketing think tanks stumbled on this decades ago, and we've ignored Lakoff over this to our own peril.


    "Generosity, Ethics, Patience, Effort, Concentration, and Wisdom"

    by Dood Abides on Sun May 11, 2014 at 05:46:04 AM PDT

  •  Same with home schooling (7+ / 0-)

    The idea that there is no science to education follows the same pattern. I don't do home dentistry in my basement. I don't write my own will or represent myself in a class action suit. The idea that anyone could teach science is at about the same level. But we've taken the "science" out of teaching for way too long, and the result is a "back to basics" crowd of middle agers who can't understand the field or the ways we might evaluate achievement in it.

    •  I always thought home schooling was an (3+ / 0-)

      optional extra when one or both of the parents were qualified to do so not as a go to option.

      "I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity." Nadezhda Mandelstam

      by LaFeminista on Sun May 11, 2014 at 05:51:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Different perspectives (6+ / 0-)

        I should qualify the comment. I do know some very highly qualified home school parents who do great work. But still, their children are missing the challenge of learning to communicate with diverse classmates--some less able or motivated--and this hurts them in the long run.

        But my perspective is different. I was an administrator of a large district. I can assure you that for every qualified and devoted home school family there are five who simply go through the motions. Some use low level online services. Some hand their children textbooks and ignore them. The worst use their children in home businesses and call it "career education." The good home school families do not see the bulk of the "iceberg" under the water, and take criticism of the trend personally. They don't want to believe how many people neglect their children and call it home schooling.

        It is very damaging to our public school system and our democracy for the most responsible and thoughtful families to opt out of public education. How much better would it be if those home school parents would volunteer a few hours a day in the school down the road? And of course, if the administrations of those schools would consider it help, not hindrance!

        My "rant" here is simply a recognition that as we fail to respect science and scientists, we also fail to respect science educators. Answering multiple choice questions on a computer screen won't give a home schooler an understanding of science process that he/she will need to be a thoughtful citizen in later years.

  •  Cosmos is Exquisite (10+ / 0-)

    In each of the Cosmos episodes there have been very specific, very clear and pointed jabs at the non-science Nonsense crowd like:

    "If Earth were 6000 years old we couldn't see the stars..."

    "Isn't it a shame that more Americans know the names of mass murderers than (early brilliant astronomer) Oort..."

    The analysis of the ("couldn't evolve") evolution of the eye was another great segment.

    He's fearless and clear. Why aren't we all?

    •  I bet that has raised some serious denial and (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, kfunk937, KJG52

      anger. Thankfully being over the other side of the pond I'm insulated from it somewhat.

      "I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity." Nadezhda Mandelstam

      by LaFeminista on Sun May 11, 2014 at 06:01:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Cosmos show on lead was masterful (9+ / 0-)

      It started with lead in the Roman Empire, where Saturn was a God of lead showing all of the symptoms of lead poisoning, and all of Rome was suffering from lead poisoning in the plumbing (Latin plumbum = lead) and from sweetening wine with lead acetate, aka Sugar of Lead. The scientific story Clair Cameron Patterson's use of zircons for dating the earth by measuring uranium-to-lead decay.

      But that required the invention of the clean-room techniques that became so important in semiconductor fabrication, because there is so much lead in the environment. Patterson then hunted down every source of lead contamination he could find, eventually showing that it was almost all from tetraethyl lead (TEL) used as an anti-knock compound in gasoline, except in homes, where the biggest problems were lead paint and lead solder in food cans.

      He then pioneered many of the environmental analysis techniques that we use on global warming today, measuring lead at various depths in the ocean and in Arctic and Antarctic ice cores to derive a history of lead in the environment, and show that it was anthropogenic.

      It took more than 25 years, against ferocious opposition from the lead industries and their tame scientist Robert A. Kehoe, from Patterson's first publication, Contaminated and Natural Lead Environments of Man, to the complete ban on TEL and various other forms of lead that get into people in the US. TEL is still used on a very small scale in a few other countries.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Sun May 11, 2014 at 08:46:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That show made me think seriously (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JeffW, jfdunphy, JerryNA

        Born in 1944, I grew up in the suburbs in an invisible cloud of gasoline fumes and a very visible one of my parents' cigarette smoke.

        I have cognitive issues that I didn't understand until much later when mental health science began to explore and define them. What did all the lead fumes and other toxic gases do to my brain? Were they the cause of my problems? What about the rest of the kids who lived in a spaghetti of roads and traffic? We'll never know.

        But one thing is telling: For us mid-20th-century suburban kids, having our tonsils out was a rite of passage. I don't know the percentages, but it happened to a lot of us. The sore throats had to have something to do with the fumes indoors and out, and apparently getting rid of the tonsils cured the problem. Seems weird now, looking back on it.

  •  It's deliberate. (13+ / 0-)

    Not only because there are lots of short-term financial gains to be made by ignoring the science, but because an ignorant electorate, distrustful of complex information, is easier to propagandize and control.

    The 50-year period of American progress from roughly 1930-1980 looks like a golden age (and, increasingly, like an anomaly) to most average citizens, but to the once and future oligarchs of the US it was a frightening, depressing time. Their power and fortunes were diminished to the point where people weren't even afraid of them. Instead, we had reasonable income distribution, upward mobility for the lower and middle classes, a social safety net that actually functioned, and possibly worst of all, nearly universal, nearly free education.
    Gives the masses ideas beyond their station. Can't have that!

    "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

    by sidnora on Sun May 11, 2014 at 06:12:19 AM PDT

    •  You also can't ignore the cultural and social (6+ / 0-)

      aspects of this, because the financial and economic ones, while clearly major, are not the only ones. Paralleling the rise and fall cycle of oligarch power in the US from its founding has been a series of rises and falls of cultural and social dominance in the US by certain self-identifying groups with various shared interests (and some conflicts that, when they came to the fore, resulted in some of these groups rising and others falling).

      Specifically, having to do with race, gender, class, region, urban/rural, social culture, religion, and orientation. E.g. the modern conservative "revolution", while clearly bankrolled and initiated by monied interests, couldn't possibly have succeeded without brilliantly if cynically exploiting existing social and cultural conflicts along such lines, such as urban working class whites resentful of what they perceived to be special treatment given to what they viewed as "lazy urban blacks", conservative straight white men resentful and fearful of the rising power of women and gays, or anti-abortion fundamentalists.

      The alignment of big money with "traditional" America is what made the conservative movement possible, and destroyed much of the New Deal era that preceded it. Big money was the primary force behind this, but the exploitation and stoking of social and cultural resentment is what fueled it. And the denial of global warming is just the latest version of this, big oil and coal stoking up a fake "cultural" war to preserve its death grip on the country's profits. Same thing with Benghazi, birtherism and guns.

      And the rubes, god bless 'em, fall for it every single time.

      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

      by kovie on Sun May 11, 2014 at 07:47:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  To be fair, the rubes didn't have a choice in (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        maryabein, mollyd, Johnny Q

        taking or voting for policy over the last 20 years because the Democrats embraced and leveraged the conservative "revolution".

        For 20-30 years, the rubes have had a choice between corporate sponsored public policy with a side order of hate, or a side order of nice. The main course tastes like some kind of chicken.

        What I am saying here is that anyone who has threatened corporate sponsored public policy, anyone who could challenge corporate hegemony, was derided as a kook or naive.

        Basic fairness, human rights, and economic justice, the essence of what separates Democrats from Republicans are ponies and unicorns that are far out of the realm of possibility, and anyone who has actually stood up or spoken for them has been kneecapped.

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Sun May 11, 2014 at 10:57:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You are absolutely correct (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JeffW, kovie

        concerning the means; my comment is more concerned with the ends. And in the end, the only cultural and social changes the oligarchs care about are those that will give them a poorer, more ignorant, less healthy, and more compliant work force.

        They have no more interest in the welfare of a white, working-class exurban guy who's underwater on his mortgage than they have for a poor black, inner-city single mother of three. They want both of them working for minimum wage, or less if possible. And thinking not at all.

        "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

        by sidnora on Sun May 11, 2014 at 03:37:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ends for the rich (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          But those they exploit also believe in their "cause", the preservation of the white conservative patriarchy and teh FreeDumbs.

          Yankees and Yeomen. What a match.

          "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

          by kovie on Sun May 11, 2014 at 05:14:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not sure what you mean by (0+ / 0-)

            "Yankees", a term traditionally used to describe New Englanders. While they may have their flaws, they're not TPTB behind the American conservative movement, most of whose funders hailed from the far west or the mountain west.

            "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

            by sidnora on Mon May 12, 2014 at 08:48:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I meant rich patrician white men (0+ / 0-)

              of a mostly English or German background, wherever they're from, who feel that they're our natural superiors with their massive sense of entitlement. I couldn't think of another alliterative word that worked better.

              Btw, Buckley was partly a Yankee, as were a number of those who started the modern conservative movement. Folks like Goldwater and Reagan were their puppets. And I believe the Kochs have NYC ties.

              "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

              by kovie on Mon May 12, 2014 at 09:02:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Buckley was the last of a dying breed. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                And much as I disliked Goldwater, he was nobody's puppet. He was a classic example of western wide-open-spaces far-right libertarianism.

                The founders(and funders) of the modern conservative movement were people like Adolph Coors (a brewer from Colorado, hardly patrician), Richard Mellon Scaife (an oil heir from Pittsburgh), and John M. Olin (head of a chemical company, from Illinois). There may have been a few New Englanders involved, but they were hardly dominant. Ironically, the most prominent New England family associated with the conservative movement, the Bushes, left New England and moved to Texas. And they became more conservative the farther they got from their New England roots.

                The Kochs are from Wichita, KS. Their father, Fred Koch, one of the founders of the John Birch Society, was from Texas. Their only connection with New York City is that David decided he liked the high life better than what Wichita had to offer and moved here, about 20 years ago. He has been buying up and plastering his name on many of our finest cultural institutions ever since.

                I can't believe I'm spending all this time defending Yankees. I'm a Mets fan!

                "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

                by sidnora on Tue May 13, 2014 at 04:51:50 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Goldwater didn't write his famous book (0+ / 0-)

                  Conscience of a Conservative. It was ghostwritten by Brent Bozell, father of that idiot with the red beard who makes CT noises on Fox now and then, Buckley's brother-in-law, and a Yankee. As you wrote the Bushes are from NE originally. There's also a heavy northern midwest conservative contingent, e.g. Kirk, Friedman, Hayek, etc. Of course there's also the southern plantation owner class element, and the more recent western element. So clearly it's not only a "Yankee" thing. But its origins are in the northeast, especially in the original Federalist party that was this country's first conservative party. But most of all, they're nearly all rich white entitled men, and they just use their idiot rank and file yoemen followers to protect their interests.

                  And I too am a Mets fan. Well, used to be, roughly from '73 to the early 90's, when I gave up on them and sports. But I do catch a game now and then, like the end of last night's subway series opener, which the Mets won 9-7.

                  Baseball is more of a democratic sport, football more republican.

                  "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                  by kovie on Tue May 13, 2014 at 05:51:45 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  There is no controversy (10+ / 0-)

    This should be the mantra.  It's true - there isn't, and many prominent climate scientists put it just this way.

    Also good is, "Just because you don't 'believe' in global climate chaos doesn't mean that it isn't poised to destroy the world as we know it.  It's happy to go on destroying without you".

    Know that $20 I owe you? Well, since money equals speech, then speech, of course, must equal money. C'mere and I'll read you the Tao Te Ching.

    by thenekkidtruth on Sun May 11, 2014 at 06:45:45 AM PDT

  •  Another way to look at this. (6+ / 0-)

    The science is settled, so why interview scientists?  What is not settled are the political and economic aspects of the issue.  So, that's who needs to talk.

    The problem with this analysis is that many will not acknowledge the science is settled.

    So I see only tatters of clearness through a pervading obscurity - Annie Dillard

    by illinifan17 on Sun May 11, 2014 at 06:47:33 AM PDT

  •  Just back from a cruise ship to Glacier Bay (7+ / 0-)

    The rangers from the national park service came aboard ship and gave a talk in the auditorium.
    Global warming and climate change got a very light touch.

    The rapid retreat of the glacier is a missed educational opportunity for some first hand learning for the many conservative climate change deniers who were snapping those beautiful glacier pictures.
    It's time for the national park service to do a better job at raising climate change awareness.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Sun May 11, 2014 at 06:49:04 AM PDT

  •  Zero Policy Implication, No? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MrWebster, Ender

    If it were just science, then yes.  But there are more than a few policy implications and policy is sometimes not the best purview for scientists.

    James Hansen said,
    "Climate change is analogous to Lincoln and slavery or Churchill and Nazism: it's not the kind of thing where you can compromise."

    He advocates for the complete elimination of coal as a fuel source. That's policy with significant economic and social implications. Not only that, but Hansen has make frequent references to the failure of democratic processes vis a vis climate - with the implication, although not directly stated like William Ophuls, that climate issues require the replacement of participatory democracy by a technocratic elite.

    You are in France - surely you see the results of this technocratic push. The National Front is on track to win the Euro elections two weeks from now. And right-wing parties are leading in Britain, the Netherlands, and Denmark. Extreme right-wing parties will send representatives from Germany, Poland, Hungary, and Greece.

    Although climate issues are not at the top of their agendas there are part of the populist right critique as electricity prices have skyrocketed in Europe while wages have stagnated - - for those who still have jobs.

    The Green left has refused to be honest about the true cost of their proposals - a political three-card monte game if you wish to talk about politicians. Visit any former coal-producing region and you will see poverty, joblessness, and social dislocation - - an incubator for the right-wing.

    You may be right about everything - except for acknowledging the reality of the response to climate policies. And the price is likely to be high.

    •  Science vs policy actions (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      johnnygunn, LaFeminista, JeffW, KJG52

      The issue and point of the diary it seems to me is that right wingers are not arguing over policy and actions due to global warming, but are in fact denying the very science.  The science of global warming, nor the science of many other areas, does not necessarily inform us as to the implications for policy.  Looks to  me like we can't discuss cogently policy because the science itself is being denied.

      Now I do have a problem when we do not see the economic and personal damage policies will cause.  And for me especially for working people.  For example, I once read of proposal on dailykos to hike up gas taxes in a significant way.  To me, it was obvious that working class people would get hurt badly, along with rural economies (say goodbye to farmer markets).

      I don't know the solution, but I know in the case of the significantly higher gas taxes, it wasn't the answer.

      •  Hansen and Some Kossacks - (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MrWebster, JeffW, Calamity Jean, mollyd

        Argue that taxes on fossil fuels can be returned to those most impacted. I find that naive in the extreme - especially when people on unemployment are described as "takers" and denied extended benefits by the GOP. Such a framework has a zero chance of implementation. In fact, the GOP would want to see carbon taxes slam the working poor so that they could get maximum political mileage from it.

      •  Once the science agreed upon, then it becomes (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MrWebster, JeffW, KJG52

        a political and governance issue and scientists can refine the data and engineers can get on with preparing for the consequences.

        "I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity." Nadezhda Mandelstam

        by LaFeminista on Sun May 11, 2014 at 09:52:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  So Wolf, what do the scientists you know say... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, JeffW

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Sun May 11, 2014 at 07:21:28 AM PDT

  •  The Conservative Brain Trust (9+ / 0-)

    George Will :
    "A moment ago, we had a report here on our crumbling infrastructure, gave it a D, emergency. Who wrote it? As we said on there, it was written by civil engineers, who said, by golly, we need more of what civil engineers do and are paid to do."
    Who does he think should be writing these reports? It's a Catcha-22 (Italy is strong because we are weak). Study civil engineering your whole life, but as soon as you rise to the top of your field, everything you write about the subject can be dismissed as greedy self-interest.

    •  We must have a hidden political agenda as well (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, Calamity Jean, KJG52

      because of commie engineers and scientists, funny, many engineers are pretty much fiscal conservatives and many I know used to vote Republican, fewer these days

      "I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity." Nadezhda Mandelstam

      by LaFeminista on Sun May 11, 2014 at 09:46:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Bible...worst book ever written. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    A hodgepodge of non-contemporaneous writings that have been used by the ruling classes of their time as a weapon to coerce, subjugate, punish, and annihilate cultures and civilizations for centuries. Held in esteem as the actual 'written word of God', begging those who refuse to believe in its implied divine provenance to choose between the certainty of their salvation, or to willingly cast their souls into the pit of hell, as if each of us were reenacting Dante's Inferno.
    Science is not in conflict with God, religion is.

    Caution: Reality in the mirror may be closer than it appears.

    by glb3 on Sun May 11, 2014 at 08:15:54 AM PDT

  •  I saw your title and immediately thought (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, JeffW, KJG52

    "Wow, is she right!" Because to a very great extent, the better the scientist or engineer is at their field, the less likely it is they are going to be an effective communicator in a public venue. When other kids are developing communication skills, they're digging into the nuts and bolts of how to take things apart and/or put them together.

    Then I read your diary. And thought how lucky we are to have someone like James Hansen, who knows how to do both. And Costeau. And, recently, Bill Nye. And some really, really good teams who have done video productions that take some of the more estoric aspects of science and make visual sense of them. But it isn't enough.

    What we need it to put together an advertising campaign that will get really, really good communicators focusing on good science. Because when it comes to grabbing the public by its lapels and forcing it to look at a side of the argument, preachers have an overwhelming advantage over scientists in terms of ability to motivate people.

    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

    by serendipityisabitch on Sun May 11, 2014 at 08:44:00 AM PDT

    •  There are hundreds of thousands that are (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      serendipityisabitch, JeffW, Johnny Q

      good at communicating, teachers and lecturers for a start.

      "I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity." Nadezhda Mandelstam

      by LaFeminista on Sun May 11, 2014 at 09:59:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Including you, and I didn't mean to knock the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LaFeminista, JeffW

        entire spectrum (though I did, didn't I?).

        Still, I think we could use more in the way of PR campaigns than we've got - for all that Fox is eminently trashable for its bad reporting, we've got very little that can go face to face against that kind of bilge.

        At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

        by serendipityisabitch on Sun May 11, 2014 at 10:12:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I wonder - pushing gullibility into adulthood? (6+ / 0-)

    As Richard Dawkins and others have postulated, for cultural learning to be advantageous, and where there is a lot of information to transmit when the penalties for a poor choice are high, children's minds are profoundly gullible in order to believe those in authority who are conveying information.  I can't recall seeing support of this conjecture, even in Pinker's writings, but it seems to explain a lot about children's minds progressing to the level of synthetic operation.

    The denial of expertise in favor of ignorant opinion I see as pushing the gullibility of childhood into the adult realm.  This and the strain of magical thinking that avoids sometimes unpleasant reality for a panglossian self-actualization are meant to create the notion that opinion matters as much as experience and fact.

    I also can't help but think that the anti-intellectualism that is being nurtured today will cripple our nation's future.  The "apprenticeship" necessary to work in the sciences is not easy and there are frequently social and economic sacrifices to be made.  What are we now telling students about the public perception of a career in the sciences?

    In all of this, I like Issac Asimov's observation:

    “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'”
  •  Here I thought you were gonna talk about (5+ / 0-)

    how when scientists use careful scientific language, the public gets confused about how damn certain something is.  Which is another problem.

    © cai Visit to join the fight against global warming.

    by cai on Sun May 11, 2014 at 09:56:38 AM PDT

  •  Please omit the word "kindly" in the last sentence (4+ / 0-)

    "Could they just kindly shut the fuck up and get out of the way."

    It's time to end the politeness to stupidity.

  •  Re the Update (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, JeffW, Calamity Jean

    Nice riff on John Galt there in the last sentence.

    If you've read Atlas Shrugged as many times as I have, the cognitive dissonance among people like Rubio is mind- boggling. When S.E. Cupp was nattering at Bill Nye over scientists bullying people with their facts, she sounded just like the people Rand portrayed as the villains in the book, the people who would rather go with their feelings than face inconvenient truths. And yet they all seem to believe they are the heroes!

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun May 11, 2014 at 10:25:31 AM PDT

  •  "Common sense" also depends on the person... (4+ / 0-) I found out over 27 years working as a traffic engineer.

    Case in point: on some minor arterials you would find traffic signals installed at quarter-mile streets. In between, the citizens would demand all-way STOP's, usually due to the presence of a school along that street. In my younger days with the City of Chicago, I would produce warrant studies to justify replacing those STOP's with traffic signals, preferrably more-expensive coordinated, semiactuated signals.

    I was actually encouraged to do those warrant studies, to keep our in-house traffic statistics section busy, gain experience, and ultimately, actually replace those all-way STOP's with those signals. But it gradually dawned on me that these streets weren't uniformly important major thorofares, but the sections I had studied were more residential, and had less traffic. I eventually began to see that the answer was not adding more signals, nor improving the existing signal installations, but actually removing the minor street signals that were currently in service., replacing them with all-way STOP's. Less power used, less money spent on upkeep.

    Why have a nice, new traffic signal set-up, with mast-arm mounted 12-inch indications, nowadays being bright LED ones, amongst a group of all-way STOP's, which could cause people to blow though those all-way STOP's when the signals went green? Why improve existing locations to cause that to happen?

    I almost convinced the one man who could have helped me make a case to try it out. Unfortunately, he was put in charge of the red-light camera project at that point, and came under fire later for accepting indulgences from the camera contractor (I won't mention names here).

    It went nowhere, I retired, and now the Signal Section is drastically understaffed, where the "common sense" is to try to keep your head above water.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Sun May 11, 2014 at 10:44:29 AM PDT

  •  And if you want a congressional hearing about (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, JeffW, JerryNA

    women and what they can and can't do with regard to their reproductive health and their VAGINAS, you do not ask women to be speakers and you are not allowed to use the word VAGINA.

    "Love One Another" ~ George Harrison

    by Damnit Janet on Sun May 11, 2014 at 11:56:49 AM PDT

  •  You can't fix stupid n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, JeffW
  •  Why is this surprising? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The major news outlets devote considerably more time to reporting on politics than science.  On climate change, you've got a ton of voices other than scientists with skin in the game: activists, deniers, the White House, legislators, governors and the state and federal public servants tasked (or would be tasked) with implementing policy.  In fact, even on the "narrow" topic of NCA, I'm surprised scientists made up as large a percentage as they did (MM doesn't define "scientist," and I suspect they've included economists as well).

    No crackpot theory is too bizarre to ignore, the world is 6000 years old despite all evidence to the contrary.
    Aside from the fact that evolution/creationism is not getting a lot of coverage period, polling indicating the sharp divide over said crackpot theory is newsworthy in and of itself.  If you're waiting for news media to completely ignore such a stark difference in public opinion, I wouldn't hold your breath.  If it makes you feel better, Raelism isn't showing up in a Google News search.
  •  As an engineer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    you've certainly seen this before, LaFem, although not at the scale and grandeur of something like climate change deniers.

    I work in a large company and have spent most of my career in Fortune 500 or at least Fortune 1000 companies.  At various points in my career:

    - I've had one colleague deny that x(y+z) = xy+xz.  (It's a "theorem" so it's not proven, right?)

    - Another colleague refused to accept that light and other EMF have a speed limit in a vacuum of 186,000 miles/second.  (It's not just a good idea, it's the law...)  In fact, this one is pretty popular.  It's pretty basic (that's why satellite links don't work very well with webapps).

    - And then there was the call one day from one of the techies at my customer site.  He was tremendously apologetic, but his problem description went something like the following: "We have operations people who don't know what they're doing. They are convinced that their servers have to be "purged" every night.  We have no idea what they're talking about but we think they once had 1970s vintage minicomputers whose UNIX had a lot of memory leaks.  Can you write them a memo, keeping in mind that they're superstitious, to try and convince them?"  That was the strangest document I ever wrote for a customer (but it was nice that the meaningless job titles bestowed on me finally served a useful purpose).  I hope nobody followed the string of emails with all of our "!!!!!  Landru [misbehaved society-wide supercomputer from an early Star Trek episode] is angry!!!!!"

    - Oh, yes.  Back in the 1980s, the Wall Street Journal had an article about senior executives who were illiterate.  Literally, e.g. they could not read nor write.  One of the people they interviewed worked for a tech company.  What was astonishing was that both the illiterate executives and their colleagues and superiors were very irked that some WSJ reporter thought this was a problem, after all, they were just as capable of doing the job?

    It is very common for high-level people with more status and money than brains or knowledge to hold anyone with hard skills in contempt; after all, anyone who is willing to be a team player must know that they need to not insist on having their way about things like basic physical and mathematical laws.

  •  denial exploded after civilization, and now brings (0+ / 0-)

    pleasure. denial is used to avoid fear.

    when it became necessary to delay the age of reproduction we we began to spend much more time learning sex with our hands.

    for men that would mostly be one particular hand, the tool and hammer hand, the hand connected to the left side of the brain, the logical/mathematical side of the brain.

    when sex energy ends up in the mathematical parts it demands satisfaction in terms of more bigger faster (greed). when it mixes with logic it wants conclusion, finality- certainty.

    since nothing is certain the need for certainty creates an avoidance of uncertainty- a recognized trait in cons as per the psych studies. extreme reaction to uncertainty is fear. living in fear is tough, and our cultures/societies are largely judgement factories for providing certainty.

    since nothing is certain, to be part of the fantasies that enable certainty- simple easy answers, judgementalism, black/white, yes/no, right wrong- requires denial. practiced denial of reality.

    the alternative may be paralyzing fear, all because most men learned sex with the wrong hand.

    the ones best at it, who deny and exude certitude, get media and leadership roles.

    the way denial brings pleasure is this: to enable denial and rationalize the illogical, logic has to open the gate to the creative side of the brain and that's when some of the trapped sex energy escapes to have it's way in the pleasure centers of the right brain- where it was supposed to go in the first place.

    so it feels good to be stupid and wrong.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Sun May 11, 2014 at 09:34:22 PM PDT

  •  Follow the $$$ (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    All this crackpot crap is just about the money.  The petrochemical industry owns trillions of dollars worth of inventory and they aren't going to give an inch until the last  bit, drop, or whatever is converted to CO2.

    Richard Feynman, one of the smartest people to ever live, said that real science doesn't start with a conclusion then work backward to create a justification.  He said, "Don't tell me the answer.  I don't want to know the answer.  I just want to work though things and see what nature is telling us."  

    You can always tell real science from the fake when someone starts with the conclusion. You can tell a fake when they have the answer. This is the sin of creationism and of all the fake science used to justify somebody making money off something.  Just follow the money.  

    A bad idea isn't responsible for those who believe it. ---Stephen Cannell

    by YellerDog on Sun May 11, 2014 at 09:57:23 PM PDT

    •  That is as true for religion (creationism/ID) as (0+ / 0-)

      for climate change denial. Science is funded from a wide range of sources. Scientists all over the world argue and disagree until they reach a conclusion. Both creationism/ID and climate change denial are funded by a very few small groups and start with the conclusion they are paid to justify.

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