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Old 08-15-2018, 09:55 PM
Lucas Jackson Lucas Jackson is offline
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Why do conservatives so strongly oppose the idea of climate change

I just watched a great movie Chasing Ice. It was ostensibly about climate change. (That aside, it’s a beautiful film - watch it!). There were a number of news clips of Beck, Hannity, etc fervently denying climate change claiming it is a hoax.
I understand that many conservatives belive their leaders and parrot their beliefs as I’m sure conservatives do occasionally.

But my question is really aimed at the leaders, what do they get out promoting climate change is a hoax?

I admit that this question is framed from the viewpoint that CC is a fact. But given that this is GQ I think the facts speak for themselves - the debate is over.
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Old 08-15-2018, 09:58 PM
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Moved to Great Debates, since the motivations of those who promote the idea that climate change is a hoax are debatable (not climate change itself).

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Old 08-15-2018, 10:01 PM
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But my question is really aimed at the leaders, what do they get out promoting climate change is a hoax?
The people who contribute big $$ to their campaigns are oil companies and other polluters, who don't want to pay to clean up their product or be forced to stop selling it.

Or more simply: money.
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Old 08-15-2018, 10:40 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is online now
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Because it triggers the liberals. The same reason some of them support nuclear power, they think it triggers liberals.

The modern GOP is like a crazy ex girlfriend in many ways. If they know you like something, they have to hate it and they have to let everyone know how much they hate it.

There is a lot of money being paid by the fossil fuel industry to criticize climate change, but the average GOP voter never sees a dime of that. So for 99% of people who reject climate change, it isn't economic. It is cultural (liberals believe X, so I believe the opposite of X).

Also a lot of conservatives consider things like renewable energy to be 'faggy', which goes against their masculine self images.
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Old 08-15-2018, 10:59 PM
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There is a lot of money being paid by the fossil fuel industry to criticize climate change, but the average GOP voter never sees a dime of that. So for 99% of people who reject climate change, it isn't economic. It is cultural (liberals believe X, so I believe the opposite of X).
I think it's even simpler. The one percent of the people at the top of the Republican party do all the thinking for the Republican party. They oppose climate change because they're making money off of polluting.

The other ninety-nine percent do what they're told. It's not that they decided that they don't believe in climate change because they hate liberals. They were told they don't believe in climate change and that they hate liberals. And they were told they were really smart and free thinking.
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Old 08-15-2018, 11:11 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is online now
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Thats a fair point.

The average GOP voters strongly supports making life easier for the rich and harder for the bottom 99% on an economic front. They oppose labor laws, unions, environmental laws, universal health care, minimum wages, college subsidies, etc. But they love supply side tax cuts, raising the retirement age and deregulation.

99% of GOP voters will only see their lives get worse due to this, but they still believe it. So yeah, I could see 'trickle down thinking' occurring in the GOP. The rich decide what is in their best interest, they give that info to the right wing echo chamber and then the right wing echo chamber presents it to the GOP base in emotionally appealing terms.
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Old 08-16-2018, 12:36 AM
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Also don't forget some fundamentals believe that they will all be "saved" from this earth, so if the earths gets broke they aren't worried.
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Old 08-16-2018, 12:53 AM
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The one-word answer: money. At least, the perception that there's more money to be made in maintaining the status quo of fossil fuel energy rather than embarking on the risks of clean energy initiatives. And of course fossil fuels themselves constitute a multi-trillion dollar global industry.

The climate scientist Kerry Emanuel wrote an excellent essay on the general subject years ago in which he touches on the issue of conservatives and climate change:
Especially in the United States, the political debate about global climate change became polarized along the conservative-liberal axis some decades ago. Although we take this for granted now, it is not entirely obvious why the chips fell the way they did. One can easily imagine conservatives embracing the notion of climate change in support of actions they might like to see anyway. Conservatives have usually been strong supporters of nuclear power, and few can be happy about our current dependence on foreign oil. The United States is renowned for its technological innovation and should be at an advantage in making money from any global sea change in energy-producing technology: consider the prospect of selling new means of powering vehicles and electrical generation to China’s rapidly expanding economy. But none of this has happened.

... There are other obstacles to taking a sensible approach to the climate problem. We have preciously few representatives in Congress with a background or interest in science, and some of them display an active contempt for the subject. As long as we continue to elect scientific illiterates like James Inhofe, who believes global warming to be a hoax, we will lack the ability to engage in intelligent debate. Scientists are most effective when they provide sound, impartial advice, but their reputation for impartiality is severely compromised by the shocking lack of political diversity among American academics, who suffer from the kind of group-think that develops in cloistered cultures. Until this profound and well documented intellectual homogeneity changes, scientists will be suspected of constituting a leftist think tank.
http://web.cerritos.edu/tstolze/Site...7s%20Reins.pdf
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Old 08-16-2018, 03:08 AM
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Because conservatives believe in small government, whatever the cost, and tackling climate change goes against that instinct.
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Old 08-16-2018, 03:26 AM
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There's rather a lot of evidence of cognitive differences between the average liberal and the average conservative. I over-simplify (or caricaturize) this slightly by calling the former "cerebral" (or intellectual) and the latter "amygdalar" (or visceral). We've discussed this before; and the nature of, and evidence for, these differences are easily Googled.

Amygdalar thinking may be just as essential as cerebral. When a sudden flee-or-flight decision is needed, it may be better to react instinctively than to dither and dawdle. But when science and common sense contradict each other, different types react differently.
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Old 08-16-2018, 03:45 AM
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Because the mindset that leads you to political conservatism - things are pretty good the way they are, and I am scared of radical change - also leads you to be fearful of other radical proposals, like the notion that we need to make fundamental changes to our individual and collective impact on the environment.
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Old 08-16-2018, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Lucas Jackson View Post
(..)
I understand that many conservatives belive their leaders and parrot their beliefs as I’m sure conservatives do occasionally.

But my question is really aimed at the leaders, what do they get out promoting climate change is a hoax?
(..)
Some research has been done to compare the attitudes of conservative parties in different countries, and the Republican Party in the US seems to be an outlier in its strict denial of climate change (at least in the Western cultural sphere); I'll cite part of the conclusion of one study done by Sondre Batstrand at the University of Bergen:

Quote:
(..) In much of the literature, there is an expectation of a conservative aversion against environmental measures as such. With regard to climate change, this is only the case with the U.S. Republican Party, and hence not representative of conservative parties as a party family. The expectation that conservative parties influenced by neoliberalism have difficulties backing new eco-taxes and state regulations is not sustained by the study, however. (..)
(Batstrand: More than Markets: A Comparative Study of Nine Conservative Parties on Climate Change. In "P & P", August 2015.)
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Old 08-16-2018, 05:41 AM
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Also don't forget some fundamentals believe that they will all be "saved" from this earth, so if the earths gets broke they aren't worried.
No word of a lie, one group I used to know specifically argued that *unless* the earth was screwed, it wouldn't be the right setting for the end days, so anything that environmentalists were proposing to limit climate change, was postponing the return of Jesus.
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Old 08-16-2018, 06:54 AM
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Moved to Great Debates, since the motivations of those who promote the idea that climate change is a hoax are debatable (not climate change itself).

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Yes science is usually settled in a couple decades, then it is no longer debatable.
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Old 08-16-2018, 07:09 AM
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Historians Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway present a well researched and documented case for their theory in Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming.

Their essential premise, summarized in Wikipedia:

Quote:
The book states that Seitz, Singer, Nierenberg and Robert Jastrow were all fiercely anti-communist and they viewed government regulation as a step towards socialism and communism. The authors argue that, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, they looked for another great threat to free market capitalism and found it in environmentalism. They feared that an over-reaction to environmental problems would lead to heavy-handed government intervention in the marketplace and intrusion into people's lives.
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Old 08-16-2018, 07:18 AM
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Conservatives, by definition, are against change.
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Old 08-16-2018, 07:24 AM
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Proposals for dealing with climate change run up against 1) conservative belief that what's good for business is good for the country*, and 2) perception that some left-wing motivation on the issue is tied to reducing American power in the world and equalizing its status with other nations.

There's also a dogged insistence that the science is somehow "cooked" by ideologues. I continue to marvel that (for instance) the Wall St. Journal easily sees through antivaccine crankery and its promotion by unqualified outliers in the scientific world, but eagerly embraces anti-climate change quackery which depends on similar pseudoscience and unqualified "experts".

*this ignores opportunities in the business world for making $$ through developing/utilizing "clean" energy sources.
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Old 08-16-2018, 07:24 AM
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Quoth WillFarnaby:

Yes science is usually settled in a couple decades, then it is no longer debatable.
Science is always debatable. But usually, after a few decades, all the debates start going the same way.
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Old 08-16-2018, 07:59 AM
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Because the mindset that leads you to political conservatism - things are pretty good the way they are, and I am scared of radical change - also leads you to be fearful of other radical proposals, like the notion that we need to make fundamental changes to our individual and collective impact on the environment.
I think this explains why conservatives vote the way they do ... and climate change is just a proxy for this attitude ... just dropped me to my knees laughing when The Donald said "The sky looks clean to me, I don't see the problem" ... this works with conservatives because we can't see the problem with our own eyes in the infra-red no matter how opaque it gets with CO2 ...

Conservative voters are also very sensitive to perceived job losses ... and it's very easy to find examples of this, environmentalists get the factory to cut back on mercury pollution by having the factory close down swing and graveyard shifts ... half the jobs are lost and there's no others to be had ... with enough mercury in your brain, all this makes perfect sense ...

I'm not saying all conservatives are suffering for heavy metal poisoning, but I'm not saying they aren't either ... we took lead out of gasoline 30 years ago, conservative voters tend to be over 30 ... "proof by graph" as it were ...

The Trump supporters I've talked to want their job today ... the mill-wright busing tables for minimum wage, the skidder stocking shelves at Walmart, the coal-miner selling sweet corn along the highway ... raping the environment pays well ... and climate change is a hand-wave for them ... better scorched Earth tomorrow than poverty today ...

Ultra short-sighted ...

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Old 08-16-2018, 08:06 AM
Lucas Jackson Lucas Jackson is offline
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I think it's even simpler. The one percent of the people at the top of the Republican party do all the thinking for the Republican party. They oppose climate change because they're making money off of polluting.

The other ninety-nine percent do what they're told. It's not that they decided that they don't believe in climate change because they hate liberals. They were told they don't believe in climate change and that they hate liberals. And they were told they were really smart and free thinking.
I suspected it might be something like this. I have a friend who despite being conservative is a relatively smart and normal person. I mentioned once something about the fact some people belive Climate Change is a hoax and looked shocked. Oh but it is, he replied, just look at the evidence! I didn’t take the time ask what his “evidence” was but now I wish I would have.

So I guess the money motive makes some sense to the leaders but I still find it hard to believe the rank and file are so gullible in this regard.
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Old 08-16-2018, 08:29 AM
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Probably significantly because of Al Gore. If a prominent conservative promoted it instead, attitudes would probably be a bit different. But Al Gore = Enemy not to be trusted.
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Old 08-16-2018, 08:50 AM
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Also a lot of conservatives consider things like renewable energy to be 'faggy', which goes against their masculine self images.
Why aren't they out back splitting cordwood, then? I mean, fuel oil and natural gas are just too easy, and coal isn't much better.
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Old 08-16-2018, 08:53 AM
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Why aren't they out back splitting cordwood, then?
Hypocrites?
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Old 08-16-2018, 09:01 AM
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Hypocrites?
People on welfare voting to eliminate welfare ...
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Old 08-16-2018, 09:02 AM
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I think a lot of it has to do with the libertarian streak running through modern conservatism. They dislike the idea of government regulation and climate change solutions almost always seem to come with government regulation. It's made even worse because climate change is frequently addressed by large international bodies which means it's not even 'their' government doing the regulating, but rather a group of unelected bureaucrats that aren't even advancing the US's best interests.

I think the fact that these international bodies have generally done a less than ideal job also has something to do with it. Kyoto basically said that wealthy countries had to cut emissions, but China didn't. That might make sense in a completely neutral world especially looking at per capita carbon use, but if you're telling Jim Bob that he has to cut down on his carbon footprint, but the people that he perceives as taking his good paying factory job don't, then you're asking a lot. Rather than simply saying "Yes, I know that global warming exists and this is the only tool that is attempting to address it and I reject it." It's much less cognitive dissonance to say, "Yeah, I reject it and global warming is probably a hoax anyway."
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Old 08-16-2018, 09:06 AM
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Why aren't they out back splitting cordwood, then?
That's renewable
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Old 08-16-2018, 09:06 AM
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Science is always debatable. But usually, after a few decades, all the debates start going the same way.
Really? Im glad you agree that climate change is debatable. The political discourse surrounding the issue suggests many do not, like our moderator buddy I was responding to. A few decades is rather short in terms of scientific inquiry.
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Old 08-16-2018, 09:26 AM
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I just watched a great movie Chasing Ice. It was ostensibly about climate change. (That aside, it’s a beautiful film - watch it!). There were a number of news clips of Beck, Hannity, etc fervently denying climate change claiming it is a hoax.
I understand that many conservatives belive their leaders and parrot their beliefs as I’m sure conservatives do occasionally.

But my question is really aimed at the leaders, what do they get out promoting climate change is a hoax?

I admit that this question is framed from the viewpoint that CC is a fact. But given that this is GQ I think the facts speak for themselves - the debate is over.
I think the general idea expressed by most posters in this thread is more or less true, but needs to be tempered somewhat. As does the notion that "the facts speak for themselves - the debate is over", which is incomplete at best.

"Climate change" is a broad subject that's covered in a couple of words, but encompasses many aspects, some of which are more definitively known and settled than others. Off the top of my head I would list:
  • In the Earth warming?
  • Are human activities a factor?
  • To what extent are human activities a factor?
  • How accurately can we predict what's likely to happen going forward?
  • What will be the effect of various proposals to counter this phenomenon?
In general, I believe the above list goes from more certain to less certain. IOW, you can consider the debate settled in terms of whether human activities contributed to global warming but have a lot less confidence of the models used to predict future changes, and then be even more skeptical of whether this or that proposal would have a significant positive impact.

[It's also for this reason that it's important - if you value understanding and accuracy - to pay attention to what people mean when they say things like "climate change is a hoax".]

In any event, the point is that while there seems to be an overwhelming consensus among climate scientists that climate change is real and has been produced at least in part by human activities, that does not mean that there's no room for debate as to whether such-and-such proposal to counter it will be productive enough to outweigh the potential economic harm.

And here's where different liberal vs. conservative attitudes about business - and particularly Big Business - come into play. Posters in this thread - mostly liberals, of course - described the conservative attitudes a bit colorfully, but the general idea that conservatives tend to be more supportive of big corporations in the face of government attempts to regulate them is accurate. Conversely, liberals tend to view Big Corporations as evil, and are very quick to endorse whatever proposed regulation purports to limit the harm they're alleged to be doing on any given issue.

So if there's room for disagreement as to the extent to which concerns about climate change should drive actual policy, conservatives and liberals will tend to fall out on opposite sides of the issue. And once there's disagreements about policy it's inevitable that there will be disagreements about science, since people are strongly disposed to believe a set of facts which support their positions on the broader issue. (E.g. someone who believes that police brutality is rampant and that stronger controls on police are necessary will also be more likely to believe that a given incident - and especially a well-publicized incident used as a rallying point - is representative of that.)

You'll find the opposite - IMO - in the case of the DAPL pipeline protests, where the factual and scientific claims of liberals were on very shaky ground, but which were aligned with their (pro-environment, anti-Big Business) predispositions.
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Old 08-16-2018, 09:34 AM
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Really? Im glad you agree that climate change is debatable. The political discourse surrounding the issue suggests many do not, like our moderator buddy I was responding to. A few decades is rather short in terms of scientific inquiry.
Debating the fact that the climate is changing due to human activity in negative ways is both outside the scope of this thread and akin to debating the fact that vaccines don't cause autism.
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Old 08-16-2018, 09:54 AM
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Quoth WillFarnaby:

Really? Im glad you agree that climate change is debatable. The political discourse surrounding the issue suggests many do not, like our moderator buddy I was responding to. A few decades is rather short in terms of scientific inquiry.
It may be that you don't understand how science works. The reason why we're so certain about climate change is precisely because of all of the debate. Nobody ever takes anything for granted in science. There are generally-accepted ideas (what we call theories), but scientists are continually coming up with new sorts of experiments and observations and measurements and analyses to test those theories. And in the case of climate change, every single time any scientist has ever done that, the result of the new research has always been that yes, the Earth is warming, yes, it's because of human activity, yes, it's already having catastrophic results, and yes, it will continue to have even more catastrophic results unless we do something about it.

If someone came up with a new experiment or measurement or whatever, and it said "no" to any of those questions, then scientists would pay attention. And they would also immediately start looking for flaws in the new research, because one result that goes against thousands is more likely to be mistaken. But if they couldn't find those flaws, then those unexpected results would form the basis for more new experiments and measurements, and eventually, the big picture would change to accommodate the new results.

But if someone just says "No, all of the scientific results to date are wrong because my orthodontist says otherwise, and besides it's all a conspiracy by the big renewable energy companies to kill America", then all of the scientists will just laugh at them, and say "No, you're wrong".
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Old 08-16-2018, 10:12 AM
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It may be that you don't understand how science works. The reason why we're so certain about climate change is precisely because of all of the debate. Nobody ever takes anything for granted in science. There are generally-accepted ideas (what we call theories), but scientists are continually coming up with new sorts of experiments and observations and measurements and analyses to test those theories. And in the case of climate change, every single time any scientist has ever done that, the result of the new research has always been that yes, the Earth is warming, yes, it's because of human activity, yes, it's already having catastrophic results, and yes, it will continue to have even more catastrophic results unless we do something about it.

If someone came up with a new experiment or measurement or whatever, and it said "no" to any of those questions, then scientists would pay attention. And they would also immediately start looking for flaws in the new research, because one result that goes against thousands is more likely to be mistaken. But if they couldn't find those flaws, then those unexpected results would form the basis for more new experiments and measurements, and eventually, the big picture would change to accommodate the new results.

But if someone just says "No, all of the scientific results to date are wrong because my orthodontist says otherwise, and besides it's all a conspiracy by the big renewable energy companies to kill America", then all of the scientists will just laugh at them, and say "No, you're wrong".
I agree with everything you said, yet it did not address my claims. My claim was that the issue is debatable, you agreed. My other claim was that a few decades was short for scientific inquiry. It is, and you presumably disagree, but nothing you said explains why.
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Old 08-16-2018, 10:13 AM
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Debating the fact that the climate is changing due to human activity in negative ways is both outside the scope of this thread and akin to debating the fact that vaccines don't cause autism.
Which is why I am not debating that fact. Thanks for your input though.
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Old 08-16-2018, 11:04 AM
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There will never be a genuine debate. Climate change deniers don't want to look at the hard data. They don't want to discuss those pesky "facts". You even have conservatives in Texas and elsewhere trying (and succeeding) to remove climate change references in school textbooks and limit what science teachers can teach on the subject.
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Old 08-16-2018, 11:12 AM
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Yes, oil companies are big-money donors to conservative politicians. But ordinary people would pay a lot more in energy costs if fossil fuel laws that derive from the premise of climate change are passed. And ordinary conservative voters don't like paying more when they don't see the benefit to themselves of the extra out-of-pocket.
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Old 08-16-2018, 11:13 AM
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Is there any traction these days in remarking that the Blessed Margaret Thatcher got it, even if they don't?

And my attention has recently been drawn to this news item from 1912 (admittedly from New Zealand, which I assume is a country beyond the Trumpian pale)
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Old 08-16-2018, 11:30 AM
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I agree with everything you said, yet it did not address my claims. My claim was that the issue is debatable, you agreed. My other claim was that a few decades was short for scientific inquiry. It is, and you presumably disagree, but nothing you said explains why.
Time is an odd metric for accepting scientific fact. For example, general relativity was first postulated in 1905. By 1940, it was well-accepted enough to be the basis of the Manhattan project. Another example: the electron was discovered in 1897, which paved the way for the first computer in 1946. Both were a matter of only "a few decades."

Besides, theories on climate change are older than you might think. The earliest idea that man can affect weather on earth dates back to 287 BCE. If you're looking for more modern science, the first calculations of carbon dioxide in the air were done in 1896. There were some missteps after that, including looking to sunspots as the cause, but most of that debate was settled by the 1960s. Consensus (in the academic world, anyway) was about 1980. Here we are, almost forty years after academic consensus, and the political debate rages on.

"A few decades" might be the measurement of time since you or people in your circle have heard the theory. But that doesn't reflect the total amount of time spent on this particular line of inquiry.
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Old 08-16-2018, 11:36 AM
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Is there any traction these days in remarking that the Blessed Margaret Thatcher got it, even if they don't?
Among the ones I follow for information on this issue, yes, there is traction:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77VejUbuFsk
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Recently, the Heartland Institute, a hotbed of Climate Contrarianism, posted a billboard near a Chicago freeway. The Billboard suggested that those who accept mainstream science in regard to climate change, are like Ted Kaczinsky, the Unabomber. Heartland promised to follow up with similar billboards featuring Fidel Castro, Osama Bin Laden, and Charles Manson. When a scathing barrage of internet protests and parodies went viral, Heartland was forced to withdraw the billboard, and post a defense on its website. Even then, they continued to maintain that "the most prominent advocates of global warming are not scientists, they are murderers, tyrants, and madmen."
Yep, outfits like Heartland did toss Maggie under the bus..

The short video does point out at past leaders in politics, science and technology (including conservatives) that realized that the issue was/is very serious. Including Margaret Thatcher.

Last edited by GIGObuster; 08-16-2018 at 11:36 AM.
  #38  
Old 08-16-2018, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Isamu View Post
Conservatives, by definition, are against change.
Is climate change denial an issue with conservatives in other nations?

I know with creationism, the US is pretty much an outlier among western nations. Conservatives here believe in it, while most other people believe in evolution. But in other western countries it seems even conservatives believe in evolution.

Is there something unique about American conservatives on the issue of climate change, or do they have the same doubts on a wide scale in Europe, Canada, Australia, etc?
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  #39  
Old 08-16-2018, 12:21 PM
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Also don't forget some fundamentals believe that they will all be "saved" from this earth, so if the earths gets broke they aren't worried.
Or, God will just make more of whatever natural resource we use up.
  #40  
Old 08-16-2018, 12:29 PM
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I think conservatives have a problem with Global Climate Change much the same they have with other sciencey topics, mainly due to the influence of the Evangelical wing of the GOP. GCC falls under an arc that includes evolution, stem cell research, studies of gun violence, biological reasons for people’s sexuality, female reproductive rights, etc. All these topics uncomfortably rely on science and facts and lean toward lefty solutions, and where science and faith may come into conflict. Why should they trust some egghead who studies these things for a living when their own political and spiritual leaders tell them everything they need to know without having to rub a couple of brain cells together too hard?

Last edited by snowthx; 08-16-2018 at 12:30 PM.
  #41  
Old 08-16-2018, 12:38 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
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Originally Posted by Fotheringay-Phipps View Post
"Climate change" is a broad subject that's covered in a couple of words, but encompasses many aspects, some of which are more definitively known and settled than others. Off the top of my head I would list:
  • In the Earth warming?
  • Are human activities a factor?
  • To what extent are human activities a factor?
  • How accurately can we predict what's likely to happen going forward?
  • What will be the effect of various proposals to counter this phenomenon?
There are multiple different approaches used by The Right to crush attempts to divert money from their pockets to ensuring that their pockets won't catch on fire. (Which they don't worry about because they're quite accustomed to their pants being on fire.)
  • Your various proposals are all too expensive and unworkable, so let's do nothing.
  • You can't specify precisely how much your proposals would help, so I'll claim they won't help at all, so we do nothing.
  • I dispute your science that says that humans are at fault to any significant degree - so let's do nothing.
  • I dispute your science that says that humans are at fault to any degree at all, because I want to do nothing.
  • In fact you know what? It's all a lie! Thermometers are fiction. See also: everything else liberals say is a lie. Unified worldview, yo. (Let's do nothing.)

In all cases the decision making process is to start with what you want to happen, and rearrange the facts as necessary to reach your desired outcome. Whether the goal is reduced government influence or increased money for the polluters, its all about the end justifies the lies.
  #42  
Old 08-16-2018, 01:03 PM
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There's rather a lot of evidence of cognitive differences between the average liberal and the average conservative. I over-simplify (or caricaturize) this slightly by calling the former "cerebral" (or intellectual) and the latter "amygdalar" (or visceral). We've discussed this before; and the nature of, and evidence for, these differences are easily Googled.
The supposed evidence of fundamental and innate differences in cognition between self-identified conservatives and liberals beyond their (presumably fungible) world view is, like virtually all social psychology, anecdotal at best, like [URL=https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/calling-truce-political-wars/]this Scientific American article on the topic. The reality is that conservatives tend to come from a socially conservative background environment, and most liberals either come from a more progressive upbringing or have turned to liberal viewpoints as a rejection of conservative strictures, and in either case tend to follow the tribal instinct to surround themselves with like-minded people in work, post-secondary education, and leisure. Attaching any kind of broadly inherent differences in fundamental cognition beyond those involved in group socialization is an exercise in post hoc pseudoscience. This is not to say that people on different ends of the political spectrum don’t display different tendancies and behaviors in aggregate, but that may as well stem from the influences of their self-selected social grouping rather than some kind of genetic or congenital predisposition.

The reason that self-identified conservatives tend to demonstrated excessive skepticism or outright reject the science of global climate change is purely a result of social manipulation, primarily by the Koch-funded American Enterprise Institute. Self-identified moderates and liberals have a wider spread of beliefs that tend toward acceptance of what the vast majority of climatologists claim simply because they don’t have a singular voice impressing upon them to repeat the same exact message over and over by dint of getting their newsfeed from something other than Sinclair Media Group and Fox News. It is also their weakness; by not having a strong, essentially authoritarian message, they are less likely to hold and express a firm belief without personal evidence, and in the case of a complex phenomenon like climate, it is virtually impossible for a layperson to acquire enough understanding of the models and methods to come to an independent conclusion.

Aside from actual apocalyptic Christian fundamentalists who actually welcome environmental harm as bringing on the biblical “End of Days”, conservatives are not particularly reluctant to adopt innovation as it advantages them (or that they are persuaded by the same voices as noted above, as in petroleum fracking and tar sand extraction), and the notion that conservatives reject “Big Government” is given lie by the broad support for the single most expensive government department and entitlement program, the Department of Defense. The reality is simply that they are a coherent belief group which is easy to sell a pro-business, anti-regulatory platform to on the basis that it is somehow tied to a socially conservative ideology. In fact, rejection of the reality of climate change is, in the long view, counter to the conservative desire to maintain a continuity of the social fabric insofar as the changes that will accompany climate change will have manifest effects on the social fabric of the United States and the world at large. The comparatively modest costs to reduce anthropological carbon emissions, while disruptive to existing energy and transportation industries which naturally oppose them, are nothing compared to the disruption of food systems, the impact of rising sea level on cities and waterways, and the damage and disruption caused by more aggressive weather events.

Stranger
  #43  
Old 08-16-2018, 01:57 PM
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Certain similarities to an ongoing fear-mongering hoax that requires a steady diet of cash are apparent:

Assuming the worst will happen
Saying "ermagerd, the world is going to end!" unless we throw all kinds of money at the problem
No matter how much money we spend on the problem we always need to spend more
That money could be used for better things because the consequences aren't realistic
A lot of people have jobs related to the fear-mongering situation and if we don't keep up the charade they'll have to go look for real jobs

I am describing the military-industrial complex of course. Conservatives are heavily invested in promoting the fiction that the world is one American tank or plane or gun order away from total chaos. But they know this is bullshit. Since they can serve it up with a straight face they assume climate change is the exact same thing, a nefarious plot to get the government spending money on useless fears.
  #44  
Old 08-16-2018, 01:58 PM
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I grew up in a very conservative church (the Churches of Christ) -- I never really bought into the fundamentalist mindset, myself, though -- and I can attest to the fact that a lot of these folks really don't think that global warming is ever going to be a problem. They don't trust scientists; hell, they prefer their so-called "holy book" over sciency facts, and reject evolution and the modern world in general.

I actually had one guy tell me a few years ago that worrying about global warming (or any type of environmental issue, for that matter) was indicative of "lack of faith" in God. Because God told man to go forth, multiply, and conquer, and we better damm well do that, come hell or high water. Any so-called problems will be overcome either through sheer human inventiveness, or rendered moot by the second comin' of Christ hisself!
  #45  
Old 08-16-2018, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Malden Capell View Post
Because conservatives believe in small government, whatever the cost, and tackling climate change goes against that instinct.
No they dont.
  #46  
Old 08-16-2018, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by WillFarnaby View Post
I agree with everything you said, yet it did not address my claims. My claim was that the issue is debatable, you agreed. My other claim was that a few decades was short for scientific inquiry. It is, and you presumably disagree, but nothing you said explains why.
The evidence about climate change is in. If you want to argue against climate change, you need to produce a larger amount of evidence against it than has already been produced in support of it. Arguing that the evidence that exists shouldn't be believed is a faith-based argument not a science-based one.
  #47  
Old 08-16-2018, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by gytalf2000 View Post
I grew up in a very conservative church (the Churches of Christ) -- I never really bought into the fundamentalist mindset, myself, though -- and I can attest to the fact that a lot of these folks really don't think that global warming is ever going to be a problem. They don't trust scientists; hell, they prefer their so-called "holy book" over sciency facts, and reject evolution and the modern world in general.

I actually had one guy tell me a few years ago that worrying about global warming (or any type of environmental issue, for that matter) was indicative of "lack of faith" in God. Because God told man to go forth, multiply, and conquer, and we better damm well do that, come hell or high water. Any so-called problems will be overcome either through sheer human inventiveness, or rendered moot by the second comin' of Christ hisself!
Tell them polluting is a sin against God's creation and climate change is a sign of God's impending wrath if we don't turn away from the sin of burning God's creation on the altar of Mammon.

Last edited by Little Nemo; 08-16-2018 at 02:33 PM.
  #48  
Old 08-16-2018, 02:59 PM
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No word of a lie, one group I used to know specifically argued that *unless* the earth was screwed, it wouldn't be the right setting for the end days, so anything that environmentalists were proposing to limit climate change, was postponing the return of Jesus.
This same mindset goes a long way toward explaining right wing support of Israel.
  #49  
Old 08-16-2018, 03:04 PM
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Ají de Gallina Ají de Gallina is offline
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The majority of actual conservatives who have seen and understood the science accept the idea of climate change. Most people who are not conservatives and accept it have no real idea of the really hard, complex science behind, they just follow suit.

What most science-based conservatives think about CC/GW is
1) The earth is almost certainly getting warmer
2) CO2 is definitely one of the causes.
3) We do not know enough to ascertain precisely how much CO2 is contributing to the temperature increase. We had a very similar increase in the 30s and there was not a lost of "extra" CO2
4) The unnecessarily catastrophic form of presentation that almost always negate human ingenuity like the massive increase of natural gas use or other measures, is unscientific.

5) The problems with land stations and the discrepancies with the (much more recent) satellite-record cannot by handwaved away.
6) Heavy-handed proposals that do almost nothing (less than 0.1° in a century) and cost a lot are just feel-good measures.
7) Other more present issues like clean water, sewers, vaccines, and micronutrient are much cheaper and super-effective, and are being forgotten.
8) The almost fundamentalist way in which any doubt or criticism is seen as outright denial of everything.

Also, the misguided "sin" or "1%" or "stoopid" as the reason really make you dislike whoever is proposing something

Last edited by Ají de Gallina; 08-16-2018 at 03:06 PM.
  #50  
Old 08-16-2018, 03:49 PM
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Because the proposed solution to global warming- a worldwide regimen of imposing limits on carbon emission, whatever the economic consequences- is a socialist's dream come true. The right even coined the term "ecosocialism" to encapsulate this. The right basically sees claims of global warming as an excuse by leftists to call for the dismantlement of capitalism, and the elevation of a leftist technocracy empowered to dictate how people live on the grounds that just existing impacts everyone. In other words, the end of individualism.
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