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The thinking error that makes people susceptible to climate change denial

35 Comments
By Jeremy P Shapiro

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From a scientific standpoint, these claims of disproof are absurd. Fluctuations in the weather don’t refute clear long-term trends in the climate.

For me it is quite obvious many of the people that use this terribly bad excuse on the media and social services clearly understand how illogical this is, but they keep doing it as an excuse to push for ecologically damaging decisions that are also economically beneficial for them.

The same applies to the invalid binary included at the end of the article, any and all excuses are to be used to push for their personal gain, even if anybody that is actually open to discussion would clearly understand both positions are deeply illogical.

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

The error was made by the scientific community, aspie to their cotton socks, who offered up the term 'global warming' and encouraged the world to panic over a 1 or 2 degree increase in average temperatures.

It's a good job these people don't work in advertising.

'Global warming' is correct, causing increasingly extreme weather, with peaks maybe 10 or 15 degrees hotter or colder. But in the popular imagination, every cold spell disproved any concept with the word 'warming' in it. They really should have seen that one coming. That was a schoolboy error. 'Climate collapse' would have been better.

They then compounded it with the 1 degree or 2 degree warming figure. That was never going to grip the public imagination, when ordinary temperature swings are so large from day to night or summer to winter.

That's two schoolboy errors from people with more PhDs than you have had hot dinners. Proof that someone can be very clever and very foolish at the same time.

And so it was really easy for politicians - who live in and for the short term - to ignore them until the very last moment (or perhaps until it was too late).

So now we don't have enough reservoirs, green power production, rainforest or EVs.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

What is a climate change denier?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

What is a climate change denier?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change_denial

Climate change denial, or global warming denial, is denial, dismissal, or unwarranted doubt that contradicts the scientific consensus on climate change, including the extent to which it is caused by humans, its effects on nature and human society, or the potential of adaptation to global warming by human actions.

In this context the term is clear, people that baselessly claim the scientists of the world must be wrong because they want to believe something different from what they say.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

"The allure of black-and-white thinking"

"The all-or-nothing problem"

Seems the author is describing the climate change alarmist thinking more than "deniers".

The problem is if you don't agree with the latest eco trend, you are somehow delcared a "denier" (deliberate association with the Holocaust and appeal to emotional response.)

"If they find one contrarian scientist somewhere, they categorize the idea of human-caused global warming as controversial and conclude that there is no basis for action."

Again, the author seems not to even understand those who don't fully agree with them or they have some characture idea of who they are. Its often not NO basis for action - it is opposing ridiculous measures that claim to be for the climate but are a massive scam, like "carbon credits". As well as those ridiculous UN SDGs; 17 fairly ambiguous and lofty statements of "goals" (afew of which are repeated), to be used as a guise for policies that they say are good for us.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

The argument is over. The deniers won, in the sense of delaying and obfuscating long enough to drag on action or the possibilities for action when it would have been less costly and more effective. Now we have to put up with it and deal with the consequences and they can party (Reminds me of the Brexiteers actually) content in the knowledge they did all their own research. But they mainly took their lead from the lies of huge fossil fuel companies and their "think tanks" who cleverly muddied the waters with spurious arguments, well-positioned counter-"experts" and academic nobodies and astroturfing. They themselves utilised many to the same techniques as the tobacco industry to hang on to their profits decades longer than was ever ethical.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Seems the author is describing the climate change alarmist thinking more than "deniers".

In no way the science behind the scientific consensus can be described in this way.

The problem is if you don't agree with the latest eco trend, you are somehow delcared a "denier"

That is false, pretending the scientific community of the world must be wrong without presenting any evidence that would even hint at this is what makes people deniers.

Again, the author seems not to even understand those who don't fully agree with them or they have some characture idea of who they are. Its often not NO basis for action - it is opposing ridiculous measures that claim to be for the climate but are a massive scam, like "carbon credits"

Many experts disagree with the best measures to remediate climate change, they are not labeled as deniers, that is reserved for people that illogically pretend there is no such thing or that no measure is necessary because it is all natural or there would be no negative consequences of it.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

I guess the plan is to move to Mars, so we can screw it up.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

In this context the term is clear, people that baselessly claim the scientists of the world must be wrong because they want to believe something different from what they say.

That sounds made up lol.

What is it exactly they say that the scientists are wrong about?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Seems that most countries are just paying lip service and don't actually believe.

Only a few countries are actually serious about meeting their emissions targets.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Not actually sure but I think many countries are spending more for weapons buildup than emissions mitigation

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Lolz

0 ( +1 / -1 )

That sounds made up lol.

Every word you can use is made up.

What logical flaw can you identify from the definition? if you can't that means is a valid term that clearly identify people that are acting irrationally.

What is it exactly they say that the scientists are wrong about?

That depends on the denialist or even at what time you are asking, many will shift and change between claims, sometimes even if they are contradictory, because the main point is not being rational but avoid accepting the scientific consensus. The article makes a very good point identifying the logical flaws in their arguments and how their claims of the scientist being wrong about the topic is not something that can be defended in a logical discussion.

Seems that most countries are just paying lip service and don't actually believe.

Do this surprise you? disease, poverty, war, are many of the other problems of humanity that could be solved if countries of the world acted with the welfare of everybody as their priority, but most simply don't. Saying that politicians are not acting the best they should and instead only care about their personal profit is not a very good argument to prove scientist are lying and politicians telling you the truth.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Typical straw man nonsense, deliberately misrepresenting the position of most skeptics who recognise that the climate changes but are skeptical of models that are continually proven wrong yet are used to formulate government policy and enrich hangers-on while attempting to convince the plebs to reduce their living standards. All the while, the people who tell us how to live do the opposite.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Typical straw man nonsense, deliberately misrepresenting the position of most skeptics who recognise that the climate changes but are skeptical of models that are continually proven wrong yet are used to formulate government policy and enrich hangers-on while attempting to convince the plebs to reduce their living standards.

What models are wrong? the longer data is being collected the more and more the models used have been validated. There is no strawman either, people making valid, rational and evidence based corrections are not considered denialists, the label is used for people making false, irrational claims without basis (for example that the models are wrong).

There is no need to reduce living standards either, if you enjoying life completely depends on acting irresponsibly that is not a problem of the science community. People can live fulfilling lives full of enjoyment AND be ecologically responsible at the same time, every year this gets easier and easier thanks to technological advancement.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

In the words of John McEnroe, you can't be serious. Can you name which models are right, considering you support measures based on them?

The hockey stick is the most infamous, but models predicting catastrophic warming over the last 30-odd years are bunk, otherwise we'd be seeing see level rises that simply aren't happening, polar ice is melting in some areas and accumulating in others, there's no net increase in the number of tropical storms, and the rise in monetary damage is due to increased development in areas where such storms strike. Most are not arguing that the climate is changing, but to what extent and what is causing it, with humans contributing a small amount but natural causes far more. Many temperature models on which policies are based are made using weather stations influenced by the heat-island effect, which produce artificially elevated temperatures that distort the models. i could point to you various debunkings, but because you're wedded to the false consensus, as you are with the covid jabs, you won't even bother to look at them. Scientists who set out to prove the world is warming get showered in funding from governments and foundations that have vested interests such an outcome, whereas skeptical scientists are frequently denied funding and sometimes fire as heretics even though their scientific method and results are sound.

And certainly measures like net-zero are complete scams. Not only are they unattainable, but pursuing them is both economically and environmentally disastrous. Of course some people are becoming very wealthy along the way, but most are being robbed through higher charges for energy and the on-flow of that, abandonment of affordable, reliable energy for expensive and unreliable solar and wind. Not to mention attempts by the EU to force farmers off their land like what's happening in the Netherlands due to allegedly unsustainable farming practices while they push for people to eat bugs. All the while the same people live it up on expensive steaks at air-conditioned climate confabs in hot countries.

As for the lifestyle angle, we have governments trying to phase out fossil-fuel based transport, but electric vehicles are tremendously expensive for most people and will be for a very long time. Are you suggesting people forego their freedom of movement for some dubious goal of saving the planet. And The infrastructure needed to power electric vehicles for all is unattainable for several decades, not to mention the materials needed to maintain them and the methods by which they're mined.

What authors of articles like this one conveniently ignore is that skeptics are not anti-environment, just far more mindful that the costs of the actions far outweigh the benefits.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

What logical flaw can you identify from the definition? if you can't that means is a valid term that clearly identify people that are acting irrationally.

Definition of what? What is it exactly that people deny?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Seems that most countries are just paying lip service and don't actually believe.

Do this surprise you? disease, poverty, war, are many of the other problems of humanity that could be solved if countries of the world acted with the welfare of everybody as their priority, but most simply don't. Saying that politicians are not acting the best they should and instead only care about their personal profit is not a very good argument to prove scientist are lying and politicians telling you the truth.

You're confused. The voice in your head isn't mine, I didn't say any of that.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

It's very apposite that the article is supported by many of the commenters by demonstration.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Are you suggesting people forego their freedom of movement

No. Nobody is suggesting this. It's a very poor strawman.

for some dubious goal of saving the planet.

Lol, it's literally the most important and least dubious goal for sustaining our species.

But we get it. If it can't be fixed 100%, then why bother at all? We can just whinge about rich people instead of taking some personal responsibility.

You are EXACTLTY the breed of person that this article describes. It's absolutely tragically uncanny.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I’m not really convinced by the author, who turns out to be a psychologist rather than a climate change expert (on which he takes a strong position anyway, hmm, binary thinking?)

The other thing he misses is that, this is not a problem that humanity is going to face. The Russians have other concerns besides the impact of burning fossil fuels. The CCP of China has bigger fish to fry. If I recall correctly, the US has actually reduced its emissions due to expanded use of natural gas.

Taking whatever actions are proposed also needs to consider the costs, because each of us doesn’t have infinite cash to spend on whatever the actions are.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Here's the truth : the Earth's climate has always been in flux. There have been both glaciations and retreats, cold and warm periods. The actual "Climate Deniers" are those pushing the idea of climate stasis.

Look at the Solar cycle itself, a 12~13 year cycle of peak to low activity cycle, with both rising and falling trends in solar activity. No one dare say human existence has any impact on the solar activity, yet fluctuations in solar activity have a great deal of impact on the Earth's climate.

For the record, warming cycles promote increases in greening and growth cycles of forests and jungles. No one dare say that the Earth was not teeming with life during the very warm Jurassic period.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

The American fossil fuel industries are principally and specifically behind the climate denial splurge in the media. They can use their vast wealth to promote lying to the public, and they shamelessly do so. The facts and logic behind the assertion of global warming are unassailable.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Basically all of the models have been projecting climate warming of varying degrees. Guess what, the Earth has gotten warmer like they predicted.

Can you name which models are right, considering you support measures based on them?

Satellite measurements of land (far from urban areas) and sea surface temperatures also show the trend of warming.

 Many temperature models on which policies are based are made using weather stations influenced by the heat-island effect, which produce artificially elevated temperatures that distort the models.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

That's not truth...

When has the Earth's climate changed so rapidly within a 50-100 year period? If you want to claim it's natural, you need to show evidence of what the cause is.

Then comes the, "even if it is human caused, it's actually good!" claim. Again, the time scale of the current vs past changes is way different, so there's less time to evolve to adapt.

Here's the truth : the Earth's climate has always been in flux. There have been both glaciations and retreats, cold and warm periods. The actual "Climate Deniers" are those pushing the idea of climate stasis.

Look at the Solar cycle itself, a 12~13 year cycle of peak to low activity cycle, with both rising and falling trends in solar activity. No one dare say human existence has any impact on the solar activity, yet fluctuations in solar activity have a great deal of impact on the Earth's climate.

For the record, warming cycles promote increases in greening and growth cycles of forests and jungles. No one dare say that the Earth was not teeming with life during the very warm Jurassic period.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Here's the truth

Not a very scientific way to present an argument. It sounds similar to religious preaching.

On the other hand, I'm not very comfortable with Shapiro's ideas. He talks of "deniers" but says nothing about "believers". Both are groups that are unlikely to change their minds. Science is founded on ignorance, and it might be better to focus on the questions of the "don't knowers".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Definition of what? What is it exactly that people deny?

It is included both in the article and in the reply, when your "argument" completely depends on you not being able to read either you are recognizing both things disprove what you believed was correct.

You're confused. The voice in your head isn't mine, I didn't say any of that.

That is what it means when your argument is that you consider the way politicians act as a more reliable source of information than what scientists can prove with data, that you are trusting the politicians to be truthful and acting not according to their own benefits.

Here's the truth

Exactly as described in the article, ‘The climate has always been changing’ mistake followed by Failing to examine the gray area, it is almost as if you made an effort to exemplify invalid reasoning without even making an effort to disguise the mistakes already identified.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Here's the truth : the Earth's climate has always been in flux.

Thanks so much for this gem of wisdom, and for demonstrating that you hadn't read the article before trotting out this hackneyed factoid.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You're confused. The voice in your head isn't mine, I didn't say any of that.

Good point. You were having a red herring thrown at you.

Powerful economic interests are at work here: The fossil fuel industry has funded disinformation campaigns for years to create this kind of doubt about climate change, 

Sounds like a conspiracy theory from an adjunct psychology professor.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Good point. You were having a red herring thrown at you.

If you fail to argument about how this is exactly what the comment means then you are accepting there is no red herring, no fallacy at all.

Sounds like a conspiracy theory from an adjunct psychology professor.

What is your argument here, that you don't know the well described campaigns of disinformation funded by fossil fuel industry or that you believe those cases are false?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

An adjunct psychology professor. Climate change.

A combination for a hyperbolic diatribe if there ever was one.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

An adjunct psychology professor. Climate change.

Not climate change, but climate change denial, that is completely inside his field of expertise. He makes absolutely no claim of being an authority on climate, he leaves that to the actual experts.

What part of his argument can you prove is mistaken? calling hyperbolic something just because you disagree is not an argument, specially against someone with a valid appeal to authority.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

One of the more biased articles to appear on the subject.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One of the more biased articles to appear on the subject.

In which aspect? what part of the claims made you can demonstrate is wrong? Just because you don't agree with something a professional in the field is saying that does not make it automatically biased, the much more likely explanation is that you would be the one with the bias.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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