Conspiracy theories surrounding human influenced climate change, what's up with that?


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This is based on a question I asked in a thread since locked that I didn't get a chance to see what the responses were. I am not trying to be inflammatory with this question I am just very curious about it.

While the world(and specifically the internet) is filled with conspiracy theories about all sorts of subjects the subject that has struck me as just exceptionally odd is the controversy around climate change, specifically human influenced climate change.

Climate change is a well researched and understood subject, and while many of the particulars are still being learned and debated the fact that it is happening and is influenced by human beings is pretty well established, the science is in, as it were.

And yet a wide host of conspiracy theories surrounded it, the most common being that the whole thing is being faked by the scientific community for some unspecified purpose.

To me this is just striking me as just so strange, I think mostly because I don't understand what people's investment in it being a lie is.

Why would scientists fake this? What is the underlying fear or motivation in believing a conspiracy theory like this? To me it is like if a huge number of people believed the periodic table of elements was a giant lie and had to be passionately condemned for the filthy deception it was.

Like, what? What the heck is happening right now?


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Scientists as a large body would not fake their beliefs. That doesn't mean the consensus is right. The scientific community has been wrong before, or at least overly simplistic or incomplete.

The underlying fear or motivation in believing a conspiracy theory in this matter is simple. If the scientists are right, we are in for a big change in life style, which many people don't want and won't survive. However, there is an underlying belief that science is the best way of arriving at the truth of physical reality. Ergo, some people need to rationalize a conspiracy theory to both reject the correctness of the scientific consensus on climate change and retain the belief that the pursuit of science is a correct model for understanding reality.

At its core, people do not want to believe that their way of life is ending.

Liberty's Edge

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The overall problem is, the science is not in. If climate change (Global Warming) does exist, humans can't really and have not effected it one way or the other. (Unless you get really out there with Thermal Nuclear War... Do You Want To Play A Game?)

It is science that uses a false premise and a conclusion that was already concluded before the "study" started.

The reason it is hotly contested, by both "sides," is that a lot of money is being spent/wasted on what some consider pipe dreams, "green" technologies that do very little to replace known energy and are temporary, at best. Most electric solutions are finite storage that ebb their contents over time.

There is science that disputes the whole man made global warming. It is one of the reasons the term changed to "climate change."

One of the most interesting ways it was explained recently is when one studied the fact that all swans are white. When a black swan was discovered, it was considered an anomaly and ignored, and the conclusion was that there was no black swans at all. This is the same type of finagling that happens with global warming/climate change studies.


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Beyond psychological reasons there's a lot of money behind it and it's become embedded in the political debate, especially here in the US. Going back to earlier environmental movements, strongly opposed by some business interests because they stood to lose money from various regulations - from more controls on pollutants to protecting wilderness from logging and so many other things.

Groups owning substantial fossil fuel reserves or making money from the fossil fuel industries don't want to lose that revenue, so they work both openly and behind the scenes to sway public opinion against the science.

Think of the tobacco companies publicly denying the link between smoking and cancer long after it was proven. And, as was revealed in later lawsuits, long after they knew it to be true internally.

Liberty's Edge

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Well...at this point arguing whether or not climate change is occurring is a little like arguing whether or not water is wet. Is the change solely the result of human activity? Partially? Is it wholly natural (cyclic)? I suppose this is still largely unproved (the ultimate cause), but to logically and reasonably argue that it's simply not happening at all...hmmm.


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thaX wrote:
The overall problem is, the science is not in. If climate change (Global Warming) does exist, humans can't really and have not effected it one way or the other. (Unless you get really out there with Thermal Nuclear War... Do You Want To Play A Game?)

"can't really and have not effected it"?

How so? As I asked in the locked thread, there really are only two questions, the rest is detail:
Is the greenhouse effect real?
Are we adding significant amounts of greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere?

There's an awful lot of evidence behind both of those, but which one do you think is wrong? Or both? Or is there some other reason you think humans can't affect the climate?


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Andrew Turner wrote:
Well...at this point arguing whether or not climate change is occurring is a little like arguing whether or not water is wet. Is the change solely the result of human activity? Partially? Is it wholly natural (cyclic)? I suppose this is still largely unproved (the ultimate cause), but to logically and reasonably argue that it's simply not happening at all...hmmm.

Even arguing it's not largely due to human activity is pretty sketchy at this point. Not solely, since there are certainly other factors, though the cycles go in both directions.

Again we're adding large amounts of greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere. They are known to cause warming on a planetary level. Those gasses causing the observed warming makes sense.
If we're not causing it, then there are two other questions: Why isn't the carbon warming the planet and what is?


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The underlying issue is "Are humans adversely affecting the environment?". Just walk outside and look around. That is the answer to that question. Go for a hike in the same place for 10 years or longer and notice the change. Look at all the trash around the land. Go downtown and smell the pollution from the cars. Go to where your nearest industrial plant is when they turn off their pollution scrubbers. Go to the beach. Look at what happens when a new land development occurs. I can go on and on and on and on, but either you are willing to accept that humans destroy what they touch or you are not. It does not matter if it is global warming or global cooling. That is not the underlying issue. The underlying issue is humanity itself. Locusts are nicer to the land than we are.


WOO! YEAH!

EDIT: But seriously, while I'm gonna steer clear of this, best of luck. Maybe this thread will manage what the other couldn't. Possibly because people like me are too worn out from the other to bother now. ;P


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Indeed. Seriously, the answer is not so very complicated.


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Yuugasa wrote:

This is based on a question I asked in a thread since locked that I didn't get a chance to see what the responses were. I am not trying to be inflammatory with this question I am just very curious about it.

While the world(and specifically the internet) is filled with conspiracy theories about all sorts of subjects the subject that has struck me as just exceptionally odd is the controversy around climate change, specifically human influenced climate change.

Climate change is a well researched and understood subject, and while many of the particulars are still being learned and debated the fact that it is happening and is influenced by human beings is pretty well established, the science is in, as it were.

And yet a wide host of conspiracy theories surrounded it, the most common being that the whole thing is being faked by the scientific community for some unspecified purpose.

To me this is just striking me as just so strange, I think mostly because I don't understand what people's investment in it being a lie is.

Why would scientists fake this? What is the underlying fear or motivation in believing a conspiracy theory like this? To me it is like if a huge number of people believed the periodic table of elements was a giant lie and had to be passionately condemned for the filthy deception it was.

Like, what? What the heck is happening right now?

So.

Conspiracy theory thinking is modal. It is a thought paradigm. It is uncommon for an individual to believe in only a single extreme conspiracy theory. This is because belief in an extreme conspiracy theory (denying climate change's anthropogenic factors, for example) requires you to look at the world in a certain way. It requires you to start with a belief - and, importantly, a closely-held belief. A belief so strong and so important to your sense of self that discarding it simply isn't feasible. It then requires you to be exposed to dramatic amounts of evidence that your belief is unfounded.

This internal conflict - holding tight to a belief despite strong evidence against it - is called cognitive dissonance. It is an uncomfortable feeling. And I mean that literally - it makes people feel uneasy and distressed. Obviously no one wants to live like that for long, so the people in question actively reach out for something that will resolve this conflict. They find their answer in conspiracy theories.

Conspiracy theories are twisted little things. They resolve the conflict by holding to an additional, unfounded belief: that all of the evidence which caused the conflict to begin with is false and deliberately manufactured to advance an agenda. At first blush, you might not consider this a comforting thought. After all, it essentially requires that a huge number of fundamentally evil people are working to deceive you, and that's a pretty scary world to live in. But you need to understand that, as scary as that scenario is, it is more comforting than having to deal with the identity-crushing trauma that would be caused by discarding the closely-held belief(s) that started this whole thing.

And so they cling to the conspiracy, and it becomes a lens for them. Everything even tangentially related to their closely-held belief is now viewed through that lens. New evidence continues to debunk your theory? Not to worry, just find some tenuous way to suggest it was fabricated! Celebrity makes news by publicly sharing your crazy view? What a brave person he is for standing up to the people who pull the strings from the shadows! Someone questioning your thought process? He's obviously a sheep playing right into their hands!

So that's great, you now have someone who believes in one conspiracy theory. But now they have this new, horrific worldview to grapple with: that the world around them is being secretly controlled and manipulated by people with agendas, and no one else sees it. Remember, this is now their lens. It's how they look at life. So when someone suggests to them that maybe another conspiracy theory could also be true, it becomes super easy to accept it. They discarded critical thought a long time ago; it no longer plays a role in how they look at things. Instead, they're constantly hyper-aware of anything that could be construed as a conspiracy. Cynicism is their bread and butter. From their view, people in power are never well-intended, and everything they do is deliberate (people in power don't make mistakes, in conspiracy theorists' heads; instead, they make unfathomable decisions).

How does this factor into climate change? I'm afraid things need to get a bit political to explore that one. Climate change denial is a firmly right-wing belief. There are exceptions, but by and large it is believed by those who place themselves on the ideological right (Republicans, self-described conservatives, self-described libertarians, etc.). The ability to deny man's role in climate change is pretty attractive to someone on the ideological right. First, it absolves the wealthy (and anyone else) from any responsibility for damage to the environment; an essential claim of climate change denial is that the environment isn't fragile enough for mankind to do that much harm. It also meshes nicely with conservative religious beliefs, like Earth being god-given. Economically, denying climate change means you don't need to support policy efforts to curb pollution or carbon levels, which makes the wealthy very happy. And, finally, it plays very nicely into the anti-intellectual bent of conservative politics ("Climate change only exists in the minds of ivory-tower, liberal university scientists!").

In other words, it hits all the right notes (har). That isn't to say that left-leaning folk don't believe in conspiracy theories. There is a lot of evidence out there that points to both sides of the ideological aisle being roughly equally prone to conspiratorial thought (with perhaps a slight edge given to conservatives). What is certain, however, is that Republicans are far more willing and able to take advantage of conspiratorial thought. It also helps that conservatives are more prone to being influenced by those trying to take advantage of their conspiratorial thinking (for a truly fascinating look at some of the differences between conservative and liberal mentalities, check out this article over at ProCon). This is why conspiracy theories are seeing as much play as they are in the current Republican presidential primaries. They are widespread, and playing to them works.

You had one final question - what the heck is going on that makes it seem like there are so many conspiracy theorists out there? Well, probably the internet, frankly. It gives conspiracy theorists a platform, a voice, and the ability to immerse themselves in echo chambers that didn't previously exist. It isn't that there weren't conspiracy theorists before the internet came around. It's just that the internet gives them a place to share it with everyone. It seems like everyone has that sweet old grandma who is suddenly revealed to be absolutely bananas after she shows up on Facebook.

Finally, a reminder: Snopes is your friend. Don't leave home without it.

Liberty's Edge

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The last Ice Age was started by an asteroid hitting the earth, spitting up a ton of ash and knocking the planet off it's axis. I doubt seriously if gassy cars and farting cows can even compare to that.

The fact is, the last decade has seen the planet get a bit cooler, not warmer. This is why it is now called Climate Change, not Global Warming.

This DOOM and GLOOM stuff was all said and the future of today was supposed to be the end of all humanity three years ago. It didn't happen.

Nothing has changed since then, so why do more believe this theory now then what was believed then?

Yes, it is political, as pointed out, but not because one believes and the other does not. It is the complete waste of moneys going to "technologies" that are ill equipped to do anything about the perceived problem and the want to jettison any type of energy use that doesn't use "green" energy that doesn't really exist.

Science is our friend, but it has been abused in the last 50 years by colleges and various "think tanks" (on both "sides) to produce a new congressional "bogyman" now that communism is on the back burner.


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thaX wrote:
The last Ice Age was started by an asteroid hitting the earth, spitting up a ton of ash and knocking the planet off it's axis. I doubt seriously if gassy cars and farting cows can even compare to that.

Wait, what asteroid? Knocking the planet off its axis? You might want to double check - or perhaps more likely, check for the first time? - some figures concerning how enormously massive the Earth is, compared to asteroids.


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thaX wrote:
The last Ice Age was started by an asteroid hitting the earth, spitting up a ton of ash and knocking the planet off it's axis. I doubt seriously if gassy cars and farting cows can even compare to that.

I want you to answer me honestly: Is that your actual argument? Is that the actual rationale behind your decision to deny anthropogenic climate change?

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The fact is, the last decade has seen the planet get a bit cooler, not warmer. This is why it is now called Climate Change, not Global Warming.

That simply isn't true. At all. First, the past decade has seen a mean change of about 0 degrees celsius, globally. However, the decades before that experienced dramatic and steady increases in temperature, which has resulted in the ten warmest years on record (starting from 134 years ago) happening since the year 2000.

So let's get this straight: the planet is warming. It has been warming, and it is still warming. You can read up on what the two terms ("climate change" and "global warming") refer to and when/why they are used at NASA's website discussing the issue. Short answer? Both terms are still used, because one (global warming) is a subset of the other (climate change). Global warming is a specific symptom - gradual increases in average global temperature. Climate change refers to the entire set of symptoms of increased levels of greenhouse gases. You can think of climate change as the flu, and global warming as the fever that flu causes.

This is pretty basic stuff, as far as this subject is concerned.

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This DOOM and GLOOM stuff was all said and the future of today was supposed to be the end of all humanity three years ago.

No, it wasn't.

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Yes, it is political, as pointed out, but not because one believes and the other does not.

No, that's exactly what it is.

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It is the complete waste of moneys going to "technologies" that are ill equipped to do anything about the perceived problem and the want to jettison any type of energy use that doesn't use "green" energy that doesn't really exist.

Are you seriously arguing that there is no such thing as renewable energy?

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Science is our friend, but it has been abused in the last 50 years by colleges and various "think tanks" (on both "sides) to produce a new congressional "bogyman" now that communism is on the back burner.

Abused by colleges? What?


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I have been called paranoid, a conspiracy nut, and worse so many times on these boards that I honestly don't care anymore. Perhaps it would be a good thing for me to explain my view of it.

I am an old-school liberal at heart. One of the closest ideological descriptions of my world-view can be found in The Road to Serfdom by Hayek. In short: The state has its role, quite a bit beyond the night watch state of the neolibs, in that it is the best actor for setting the playing field and a rather loose set of rules that are relatively unchanging, predictable and that do not apply differently to different people. It should not, however, keep making millions of little rules for shaping society - society can do that itself. Nor should it establish central plans, because the people in charge of administering those could never know enough for them to work, at least not in a way that supports a good life for the citizens involved. The scepticism against national decision-making is pretty strong, but even more so is that against international decision-making, because that is very far from democratic. Democracy is important, but is not merely a matter of choosing between two alternatives provided from a set establishment. It covers principles of freedom of speech, freedom of information, rule of law, transparency, accountability, the right to partake in the political life, and so on.

Why don't I trust the idea of AGW?

Because, at heart, the medial image of it has been mishandled to an awesome degree. Suddenly one day, it went worldwide with weeks of screaming in the media about the horrors of it all. There was no end to the doomsaying. Sea level rise!!! The forests will all rot away due to bugs!!! The POLAR BEARS WILL ALL DIE!!! IT WILL NEVER SNOW AGAIN!!! EVERY HUMAN CITY EXCEPT MEXICO CITY WILL DROWN IN TEN YEARS!!!!!!!11one

A few years into this, the temperatures have not risen further. The polar bears are apparently breeding like crazy despite not having styrofoam ice floes to cling to. People question, and the message is adapted. Global warming didn't materialize, so now it's climate change instead. Every year, a new explanation is advanced in the media for the absence of rising temperatures: It's the Gulf Stream. It's El Nino. Next year it's La Nina. The articles about it are copy-paste: Global warming didn't happen because <this year's somewhat famous weather phenomenon>. That won't save us next year, though, because reasons!!!

Doing some reading up on it, I find that more or less everyone at the top levels of the Climate Lobby is a former or current member of Greenpeace or the WWF. Greenpeace were the guys who sent out actors to club seals and torture kangaroos for money to "raise awareness" in the nineties. WWF is doing massive money by acting as the oil sector's conscience and ethics provider when the oil companies want to exploit untouched wilderness. In one particularly interesting case, they were paid by Big Oil to declare a part of New Guinea a natural reserve - meaning they could kick out all the indigenous, primitive human tribes living there. Kindly enough, the WWF also kept supporting the company's rights to drill for oil in those forests afterward. Greenpeace has time and time again been criticized for being antidemocratic. By and large, antidemocratic sentiment runs high through the environmental lobby, given by such suggestions as to "suspend democracy until the crisis is over". These guys are not the ones I want in charge of anything.

Looking further, I find Agenda 21, a massive central plan document, signed in 91, IIRC, by over a hundred world leaders. This document sets up what every little bit of resources on Earth will be used for. Private property and democracy doesn't seem to enter into it whatsoever. I believe democracy isn't even mentioned. Which is odd, because nondemocratic regimes have a stunning track record of a) destroying the environment and b) then lying about doing so. Some people are naive enough to buy their b~~&$&@+.

Regarding the IPCC, it's mainly two things: First, their stated task, their raison d'etre, is to find scientific support FOR AGW. Not figure out how the environment works. Not find the reason for global warming, but find a way to explain it by humanity's actions. I should say it comes as no susprise they found such evidence. Second, it's their quality Assurance process. The big seller is their "Information for policy-makers" or whatever it's called. It's a relatively brief summary of the stuff the IPCC has found. But when you check who gets the final editing pass on it, it's again all people from the upper levels of Greenpeace and such. And, given that opinions that didn't even come from scientific research data, like the "all glaciers will be gone in 35 years" sound bite, get in, the only possible conclusion is that their entire quality process is useless. Which in turn begs the question: How reliable is the rest of it?

There is more, but I would just like to add one. The pro-AGW crowd has a language that is purely awful. People who do not agree with them are called "deniers", likely to make an association to holocaust deniers. They are called crackpots, kooks, nutjobs, conspiracy nuts, and so on. Every dissenting opinion is explained by money from oil companies. It is a recurring motif with tobacco companies.

At some point, really whatever their science says, it is enough. It isn't even primarily the science parts that are f!*+ed up, but the politicos and the media handling. I suppose a part of it is that the message has been simplified to the level of "FOUR LEGS GOOD, TWO LEGS BAD!!!", but I will have no part of it under these circumstances. I AM willing to listen, but as it stands, the people involved have done everything possible to alienate me. If the situation is as dire as they make it out to be, the VERY LAST THING WE NEED is an authoritarian, undemocratic, centrally planned world. Say what you will about democracy, but it is a flexible system, and can change according to need. And, to me, democracy will always be a central issue in any large scale plans.

So, feel free to call me paranoid now.


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See above for what I was talking about earlier. Conspiracy theories don't come in sets of one. They come in packs. It isn't enough to merely believe that there is a massive conspiracy within the scientific community to cover up evidence against climate change theory. Nor is it even enough to believe that the media and government are active participants in the coverup. No, it's not complete until you've begun to uncover "evidence" of a New World Order conspiracy involving huge numbers of world leaders to parcel out the entire planet in a dictatorial fashion. (For anyone interested, Agenda 21 is simply a non-binding plan of action for sustainability passed by the UN over 20 years ago; despite none of their dire predictions of its obvious evilitude coming to pass, Tea Party conspiracy nuts have been all over it and Glenn Beck even wrote a dystopian novel titled Agenda 21 so that he could make it abundantly clear he lusts for a fantasy world where all his rants are vindicated.)

(And not that it matters, but the desire to further encourage the development of democratic governments is mentioned multiple times in the Agenda 21 text. It didn't really need to, of course, because this isn't a plan of action for change in governance or for spreading democracy - the UN has plenty of other non-binding pledges for those - but just one for promoting sustainability and the responsible use of natural resources.)

Dark Archive

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thaX wrote:
One of the most interesting ways it was explained recently is when one studied the fact that all swans are white. When a black swan was discovered, it was considered an anomaly and ignored, and the conclusion was that there was no black swans at all. This is the same type of finagling that happens with global warming/climate change studies.

Did you just present the white swan black swan thing as actual study? And as RECENT thing? ._.;

That has been a thing since 1930s! And it was never real study, it has always been a common example on why "I have never seen black swan, so all swans are white" is bad logic..

I hope I'm just failing at reading comprehension because I don't want to believe someone actually thought that to having been actual thing <_< Please tell me its me misreading stuff


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I put a post on the locked thread that I think gives much of the answer to the question at the top of this thread. being:-

"What is happening is that the vast majority of scientists working in the area accept that human activity is causing the climate to change. 25 years ago this wasn't so, there was less evidence, but today that has changed.

On the other side are not a team of scientists, but the fossil fuel industry and their public relations people. The fossil fuel industry has huge financial and political power and public relations people play by completely different rules to scientists. Scientists are required to be objective, public relations people are paid to promote a point of view.

The last time a similar public debate took place was over whether smoking caused cancer. Some of the same individuals who supported the tobacco industry are now "experts" reading from the fossil fuel industries script.
Obviously a scientist can't be an expert in two unrelated fields, but for a public relations consultant that is no problem at all.

On the mass extinction question, the last mass extinction was 65 million years ago and killed off the dinosaurs [except birds]. If you imagine someone looking at the fossil record 65 million years from now, it would look like a mass extinction. And i am pretty sure this is true even of species sent extinct by human action before anthropogenic climate change became a significant factor."


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thaX wrote:

The last Ice Age was started by an asteroid hitting the earth, spitting up a ton of ash and knocking the planet off it's axis. I doubt seriously if gassy cars and farting cows can even compare to that.

The wikipedia page on ice ages, en.wikipedia.org/?title=Ice_age, lists 7 causes of ice ages. The above is not one of them.

I think thaX has mixed up the last ice ice with the mass extinction event that killed off the dinosaurs [except birds]. That was caused [or at least caused in part] by a bolide impact. But it did not knock the planet off it's axis, which is a good thing because a bolide impact of that power would have killed off far, far more of the earth's living creatures than the real event, and we would not be alive to have this discussion.

thaX's posts contain a lot of assertions about what motivates scientists who disagree with him. Apart from trying to establish the truth about what is happening in their field of expertise. thaX does not give any reason to believe that climate scientists are motivated by anything except trying to do science and I am unaware of any reason to believe that is so from any other source.

No matter what you believe on any subject, it is always possible to make up motivations for people who disagree with you. I am not sure why anyone would do that, but it is certainly possible.


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As someone who studied that whole topic (environmental physics) it is easy to identify why people have a problem with the concept of climate change. The climate is a ridiculously complicated topic, but we can break it down into a few easy questions:

1. Do we emit lot's of gases and pollutants in the atmosphere? I think that is something most people would agree upon.

2. Can these gases trap more sunlight on the earth, therefore leading to heating? That requires a science degree, but it is still pretty straight forward in a laboratory, as CO2 absorbs sunlight in the infrared range and the so called atmospheric window.

3. What are the effects of this sunlight trapping and to how much heating (if any) will it lead? This is where it gets really complicated. Because anyone without a science degree, will want a number, but it's just not that easy. The true answer is, "we can't really say" and all that follows are estimates. But what we can say is, that an increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere as we see it now is unprecedented. No one can perfectly predict the effects, all that you can see is a range. That range goes from devastating to pretty bad, to put it in easy terms. But because there is uncertainty in the predictions (such is the business of predicting complicated systems), does not mean that those predictions are all b~$$!&~@, it just means it's hard to pinpoint how bad it will be.

But instead of thinking about how we can get the best outcome possible, we instead argue about uncertaintys, which outside of science have a different meaning (as in "Im not sure") than inside of science (where they mean "this is the range that we expect for our result")

The question you need to ask yourself is always: What would be the cost/result if the predictions are true? And what would be the result if they aren't?

But I mean, it's not like anyone is arguing for abandoning technological progress. It's just about putting our current technology on the basis of renewable energies. What would be so bad of zero emission power plants all around? What would be the problem if energy would just be there (as in sunlight) and wouldn't need raw materials (coal, gas, oil etc)?

And then you come to the result, why anyone is arguing against climate change. Because if there is no coal, there is no one that can profit from selling it. You can't sell sunlight, you can't sell wind.
It's all about profits. But that, none of the climate sceptics would ever admit.


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Sissyl wrote:
I have been called paranoid, a conspiracy nut, and worse so many times on these boards that I honestly don't care anymore. Perhaps it would be a good thing for me to explain my view of it.

You're bouncing weird ideas off of each other. You throw out ideas that get disproven. When they're disproven instead of modifing your idea you simply move on to something else , and come back with he same disproven idea later in order to back up another idea.

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Because, at heart, the medial image of it has been mishandled to an awesome degree.

The media mishandles everything.

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A few years into this, the temperatures have not risen further.

You know they haven't risen further because you know that the scientists are lying, and you know that the scientists are lying because the temperature hasn't risen further.

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The polar bears are apparently breeding like crazy despite not having styrofoam ice floes to cling to.

We stopped hunting them. Of course their numbers bumped up after that You can't treat 1970 like it was the year where everything was perfect and any deviation from that is the exception.

Not that we had any idea how many there were to start with -

From the article: Let us pause for a moment of irony: Critics of the polar bear decision, predominantly political Conservatives, are apparently placing their chips on a fact that traces its lineage back to two info sources that rarely make the conservative bibliography: The New York Times and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

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People question, and the message is adapted. Global warming didn't materialize, so now it's climate change instead. Every year, a new explanation is advanced in the media for the absence of rising temperatures

Its CLIMATE. Not weather. There's no trick to saying that there's no guarantee every year will be warmer.

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Doing some reading up on it, I find that more or less everyone at the top levels of the Climate Lobby is a former or current member of Greenpeace or the WWF.

Ok, neither of those organizations has ANY of the kind of pull you would need to pull this off.

Greenpeace has a 265 million dollars budget

Exxon Mobile alone has 394 BILLION dollars.

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Greenpeace were the guys who sent out actors to club seals and torture kangaroos for money to "raise awareness" in the nineties.

You've made this claim before. It was proven false. Greenpeace did not send actors out. They bought and distributed an already existing film entitled "Goodbye to Joey".

You should stop making claims that have been shown to be false rather than using it as evidence for other false claims. How can anyone trust you to make a judgement call about an alleged conspiracy crafty enough to change the planet, hide its motives for doing so, and infiltrate the highest levels of government if you're going to keep repeating disproven bunk from right wing websites?

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WWF is doing massive money by acting as the oil sector's conscience and ethics provider when the oil companies want to exploit untouched wilderness. In one particularly interesting case, they were paid by Big Oil to declare a part of New Guinea a natural reserve - meaning they could kick out all the indigenous, primitive human tribes living there. Kindly enough, the WWF also kept supporting the company's rights to drill for oil in those forests afterward.

See, now thats a good conspiracy theory. WWF has every reason to kick people off the island. The oil company certainly wouldn't mind kicking people off the island. The scale is small and localized enough for the organization to pull off.

WWF is more than a little Cardasian pragmatic about those sorts of things. Oh? The poachers have you outgunned? Here's a hum vee with machine guns mounted on it. Need anything else? - so they might actually do this.

Now do you have any citation for this actually happening?

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Greenpeace has time and time again been criticized for being antidemocratic. By and large, antidemocratic sentiment runs high through the environmental lobby, given by such suggestions as to "suspend democracy until the crisis is over". These guys are not the ones I want in charge of anything.

If people weren't so easily mislead with a few million in astroturf they wouldn't have to.

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Looking further, I find Agenda 21, a massive central plan document, signed in 91, IIRC, by over a hundred world leaders. This document sets up what every little bit of resources on Earth will be used for.

You know thats not possible.

Its simply a broad outline of generally stated pap that countries are kinda sorta maybe never going to follow up on. Its available online and there's nothing sinister about it.

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Private property and democracy doesn't seem to enter into it whatsoever. I believe democracy isn't even mentioned.

... because not all of the countries signing it have democracies?

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Regarding the IPCC, it's mainly two things: First, their stated task, their raison d'etre, is to find scientific support FOR AGW. Not figure out how the environment works. Not find the reason for global warming, but find a way to explain it by humanity's actions.

Spoiler:
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change. It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts. In the same year, the UN General Assembly endorsed the action by WMO and UNEP in jointly establishing the IPCC.

The IPCC is a scientific body under the auspices of the United Nations (UN). It reviews and assesses the most recent scientific, technical and socio-economic information produced worldwide relevant to the understanding of climate change. It does not conduct any research nor does it monitor climate related data or parameters.

Thousands of scientists from all over the world contribute to the work of the IPCC on a voluntary basis. Review is an essential part of the IPCC process, to ensure an objective and complete assessment of current information. IPCC aims to reflect a range of views and expertise. The Secretariat coordinates all the IPCC work and liaises with Governments. It is established by WMO and UNEP and located at WMO headquarters in Geneva. The IPCC is administered in accordance to UNEP, WMO and UN rules and procedures, including codes of conduct and ethical principles (as outlined in UN Ethics, WMO Ethics Function, Staff Regulations and 2012/07-Retaliation).

The IPCC is an intergovernmental body. It is open to all member countries of the United Nations (UN) and WMO. Currently 195 countries are members of the IPCC. Governments participate in the review process and the plenary Sessions, where main decisions about the IPCC work programme are taken and reports are accepted, adopted and approved. The IPCC Bureau Members, including the Chair, are also elected during the plenary Sessions.

Because of its scientific and intergovernmental nature, the IPCC embodies a unique opportunity to provide rigorous and balanced scientific information to decision makers. By endorsing the IPCC reports, governments acknowledge the authority of their scientific content. The work of the organization is therefore policy-relevant and yet policy-neutral, never policy-prescriptive.

You seem to be adding words to their mission statement and then running with the words you added.

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There is more, but I would just like to add one. The pro-AGW crowd has a language that is purely awful. People who do not agree with them are called "deniers", likely to make an association to holocaust deniers. They are called crackpots, kooks, nutjobs, conspiracy nuts, and so on. Every dissenting opinion is explained by money from oil companies. It is a recurring motif with tobacco companies.

... Yes. Yes it is. And the people saying that tobacco was a health risk were right . Following that analogy....

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"FOUR LEGS GOOD, TWO LEGS BAD!!!"

We need to make it simple enough for a congressman to read and dr seusse was unavailable for a consult.

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I will have no part of it under these circumstances. I AM willing to listen, but as it stands, the people involved have done everything possible to alienate me.

Given your very specific and incredibly inaccurate quips about squirrels, kangaroos, and baby seals its very easy to see precisely where your alienation comes from, and its not something the left is doing.

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If the situation is as dire as they make it out to be, the VERY LAST THING WE NEED is an authoritarian, undemocratic, centrally planned world.

If you believe that, then show me that people can change their minds in accordance with the facts.


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CorvusMask wrote:
Sissyl wrote:

Naive, well, it IS a repeated argument that the various putrid authoritarian states in history, primarily Soviet and China, but also Cuba as a noted example, have not destroyed the environment.

Who the heck claims that Russia and China do not pollute the environment? ._. Thats completely new to me

The Chinese government is well known for massaging its air quality data, although I must say, Sissyl, outside of China not many people buy what they're selling. The US actually has institutionalized the practice of sticking its thumb in the eye of the Chinese numbers, by installing its own air quality monitoring systems atop various embassies and putting the data on the US mission website.

Chinese focus is largely on obfuscating direct health effects of ambient air pollution, however, not on climate change. The former is a more immediate issue for them.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Ok, I'll bite.
The long warming hiatus doesn't exist. It only occurs when you cherry pick a single abnormally warm year as the base point. Using any other year in a five year span would show a warming trend. So, people who are cherry picking data? Yeah, that's the denialist side. So shocked.

Also, of the last 30 years? All of them, every single one, is above average for the last century. It's almost like there's some kind of trend increasing temperatures, isn't it?


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Paul Watson wrote:

Ok, I'll bite.

The long warming hiatus doesn't exist. It only occurs when you cherry pick a single abnormally warm year as a the base point. Using any other year in a five year span would show a warming trend. So, people who are cherry picking data? Yeah, that's the denialist side. So shocked.

Also, of the last 30 years? All of them, every single one, is above average for the last century. It's almost like there's some kind of trend increasing temperatures, isn't it?

It's also worth pointing out that we know why 1998 was abnormally warm. There was a strong El Nino that year. More recent years that have broken that record haven't had such strong El Ninos. When we get another one it'll be a whopper.


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Posted previously. Totally ignored by those who do not want to believe*, but no less valid for all of that. Multiple source documentation indicating among other things:

(1) A desire on the part of some of people to cook the data in favor of global warming.

(2) Evidence from several different sources covering different instances where the data has actually been cooked. Comparisons provided of legitimate raw data with the fudged data actually being presented by those favoring global warming.

(3) Multiple source documentation including one first hand account of legitimate scientific debate actually being stifled by those in favor of global warming.

So one can actually look at the data available at the various different linked sites and analyze the arguments for themselves based on their merits. Or one can simply accept the bland assertions of some posters that the whole mess is totally invalid. Given that we know how “science” is supposed to deal with bland assertions as to the validity or non validity of anything I would suspect that the choice would be obvious, but other people’s mileage may vary.

*On the subject of “belief”, what I am referring to here is not some sort of pseudo religious phenomenon. Rather, there is a psychological phenomenon known as “cognitive dissonance”. In a nutshell, people through time develop a set of beliefs. Later, when they are presented with data which would contradict those beliefs one of the responses is to simply reject the data out of hand because they would rather reject the data than their belief system.

Link on cognitive dissonance

Link

Link

Link

Link

Link

Link

Link

Link

Link


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
thaX wrote:

The last Ice Age was started by an asteroid hitting the earth, spitting up a ton of ash and knocking the planet off it's axis. I doubt seriously if gassy cars and farting cows can even compare to that.

This is very, very wrong.

The asteroid probably caused a short nuclear winter of a few years, but nothing significant or long lasting. Certainly there is no evidence of any glaciation or ice sheet formation, and we have a good record for this interval in the high Arctic. In fact, the Cretaceous was actually a time of cooler climate than the subsequent Paleocene which saw alligators and palms trees above the arctic circle. It certainly didn't lead to the earth being thrown off its axis.

The Ice Ages of the Pleistocene (which only started 2.6 million years ago, versus 65 million years when dinosaurs died out) were caused by changes in plate tectonics which altered ocean currents and airflow patterns, as well predictable and cyclical changes in earth orbit which lead to decreased solar radiation.


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Two more links for good measure.

Link

Link


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Ceaser Slaad wrote:
Posted previously. Totally ignored by those who do not want to believe*,

I think probably it was ignored because what you're alleging is the same unevidenced conspiracy theory nonsense we've seen from dozens of other climate change deniers. Except that you also have the stones to throw cognitive dissonance in there as though you aren't helplessly beholden to it yourself.


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People don't believe in evolution, either, despite literally tons of accumulated empirical evidence. Unfortunately, many of us simply seem to be driven by emotion, rather than by logic.

In the case of anthropogenic climate change, there are also substantial financial incentives for myopia.


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I can spam links too.

It's not a helpful way to discuss this. If you want to make a point, make your case and use links to provide data to back up your argument. I could research and try to debunk each of those dozen links, but it would take a lot of effort and time, since I'd have to figure out where their errors were coming from and hunt down counter-evidence for everything. A dozen times over.
And when I'd done that, you could do a 5 minute Google search and spam another dozen links back at me. It's basically a Gish Gallop approach, designed to win by overwhelming the opposition with junk faster than it can be countered.

I'm not going to put that much effort into countering something that takes no effort at all.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Anyway to the original subject (and speaking broadly of conspiracies, not just specifically climate change), I blame the following:

1. Dismal science education in this country. A lot of students are just not getting the background necessary to evaluate a source and determine if its legitimate or not.

2. The human tendency for indoctrination. Many people have a set of beliefs that have been imparted upon them at an early age. These beliefs are often wrapped up with political and religious ideas, and people don't want their ideas of their place in the universe challenged. In fact challenging them on these ideas just usually makes them dig in harder

3. Media's desire for conflict and "every story has two sides". This means that even when an idea has almost unanimous support (say, dinosaurs being the ancestors of birds...), the Media will go and search out someone to disagree with whatever finding is being published. On a similar note, studies that are widely considered to be crap (Say, Triassic Kraken art) get reported on even though their authors are considered cranks.

4. Overall poor ethics and training of science reporters. Reducing new science to soundbites, which may loose any of the subtlety of the original findings and even outright get things wrong. Especially if they try to go for a click bait headline. Add in that science journalists are dying out and many news stories get covered by people with no background makes things worse

5. Money. Organizations and companies with an agenda do not want to loose money or public support. Often they can inundate the media with misleading adds or buy off politicians. Even if the company goes under or changes its mind, they create a base for future believers to draw upon.

6. People are lazy. Telling people that they should change their lifestyle meets resistance, and people will look for any justification to continue whatever habits, no matter how self destructive it may be, or what long term risks it poses.

Community & Digital Content Director

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Removed some posts. We're really not interested in facilitating yet another thread where the same parties are just jumping down each others throats again. It's fine to talk about this topic on paizo.com, but keep your comments focused on the topic and debate the ideas. Don't personally attack others in the conversation.


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Scott Betts wrote:
Ceaser Slaad wrote:
Posted previously. Totally ignored by those who do not want to believe*,
I think probably it was ignored because what you're alleging is the same unevidenced conspiracy theory nonsense we've seen from dozens of other climate change deniers. Except that you also have the stones to throw cognitive dissonance in there as though you aren't helplessly beholden to it yourself.

The problem of course being that the links actually do provide *evidence* that back up the claims made. Some of them actually compare and contrast the evidence and analysis of both sides of the debate.

Which you would have realized if you had seriously looked at the material instead of simply dismissing it out of hand. While it is a truism that cognitive dissonance could potentially affect everybody, I'm not arbitrarily throwing data out without darn good reasons to. Unlike some people who seem to believe that all they have to do is label something a "conspiracy theory" and then they don't have to deal with it.


The problem is, as I did get agreement on, that the media f#@!s things up. Simplified sound bites and idiot-level reasoning like "the science is settled" is simply not enough for a complex issue like this. Even so, one would have thought that the people responsible for spreading the message would have an interest in NOT dumbing it down too far, and especially problematic is the promotion of a solid lack of grasp of what the scientific method means. Science is a way to systematically observe the world to divine (probable) truth. To do this job, however, there is a whole infrastructure of people and processes. Usually, they stay in tune and function as intended. However, the system has MANY weaknesses. With the exact wrong people and policies involved at the exact wrong positions, the result is NOT truth. Factors that can skew the process are legion. Bad science is nothing new, nor is entire fields falling to pseudoscientific junk and becoming propaganda machineries for the state.

It is NOT enough to say "science says" these days, and especially not in the field of climatology. Go figure.

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