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Why is the climate change denier movement so passionate?

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Flott svar við þessari spurningu á www.Quora.com.  

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I am surprised that there are so many responses that make no honest attempt to answer the question. There are many answers that attempt to justify the claims of climate change deniers, but none that actually answer the question.

The answer is simple: tribalism. Climate change deniers belong to a large political tribe that is a subset of the conservative movement. There are, of course, many tribes in our body politic, but this conservative tribe has some especially strong values.

The first and most important value to this group is tribal identification. These people strongly identify with the conservative tribe, and separate the world into US (tribe members) and THEM (non-members). They are passionate about this distinction: they see the world very much in terms of "us versus them". This automatic hostility applies with varying degrees of intensity to various groups. But they have especially strong hostility to liberals in general and environmentalists in particular. These groups are THE ENEMY and must be fought on every issue.

The sense of hostility is so strong that these people will attack anything that liberals or environmentalists support. It has nothing whatever to do with the merits of the issue -- if environmentalists are for it, then we're against it.

This hostility is revealed by the personal animus they bring to the argument. They simply cannot address the issue without descending into vituperation. I will not repeat the many vicious terms they apply when arguing the issue. Particularly revealing is their obsession with Al Gore. I can't recall any online extended discussion of climate change lacking pot shots at Al Gore. For some reason, the fact that he is rich and won both an Oscar AND a Nobel Peace Prize drives them nuts. The funny thing is, Mr. Gore is largely irrelevant to the substance of climate change discussions. He's a popularizer, not a scientist. He's a messenger, and a particularly effective one, so they hate the messenger.

Another indicator of their tribalism is their recourse to conspiracy theory. The vast majority of scientists endorse climate change -- ergo, in the minds of the denier tribe, they must be part of an Enemy Tribe, out to conquer the world and impose slavery upon their own tribe. The possibility that scientists endorse climate change because the evidence supports it is simply impossible for them to believe.

Another indicator is the obsession with applying tribal identification to everybody. Anybody who argues for climate change must be an environmentalist, and must therefore be an enemy. The possibility that a person could simultaneously endorse both climate change and nuclear power is inconceivable to them.

The most revealing trait about this tribe is that they don't actually know anything about the science. Their sole source of information is the vast echo chamber of denier websites that pushes the same old discredited lies over and over again. In years of arguing the issue with these people, I have never encountered a single member of this tribe who understands the science. The better ones have skimmed through some of the scientific reports, such as the IPCC reports, but they simply do not grasp the contents of the scientific literature.

This is because the science is simply irrelevant to their thinking. They are motivated not by any consideration for the truth, but by a passionate loyalty to their tribe, which they perceive to be under attack by liberals, intellectuals, environmentalists, scientists, and a whole cast of Enemy Tribes. This is why reasoning with them accomplishes nothing.

I can't resist adding a final note about one fellow in particular, who uses many different user IDs, the only one of which I recall immediately is "mememine". This fellow is apparently retired and devotes his life to surfing the web, searching for any mention of climate change. When he finds such a mention, he marks it as his territory by posting the same message he has been posting for years: since scientists do not claim that they are absolutely, positively, 100% certain that climate change is real, it's all a hoax. I have pointed out the absurdity of his claim a number of times, but that doesn't stop him; he's a drive-by poster. He drops his little fecal package and flits off in search of another flower to soil.

Reyndar skrifað með frjálshyggjusinnaða feitrassa í huga.. en smellpassar víðar svo sem. 

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8 minutes ago, feu said:

There are, of course, many tribes in our body politic, but this conservative tribe has some especially strong values.

Rétt hjá þér. þessi "value", sannleikurinn og það sem rétt er að sjálfsögðu.

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32 minutes ago, feu said:

Climate change deniers belong to a large political tribe that is a subset of the conservative movement.

 

32 minutes ago, feu said:

The first and most important value to this group is tribal identification.

 

34 minutes ago, feu said:

they see the world very much in terms of "us versus them".

 

34 minutes ago, feu said:

But they have especially strong hostility to liberals in general and environmentalists in particular.

 

35 minutes ago, feu said:

The possibility that scientists endorse climate change because the evidence supports it is simply impossible for them to believe.

 

35 minutes ago, feu said:

Anybody who argues for climate change must be an environmentalist, and must therefore be an enemy.

 

38 minutes ago, feu said:

Their sole source of information is the vast echo chamber of denier websites that pushes the same old discredited lies over and over again.

 

38 minutes ago, feu said:

Their sole source of information is the vast echo chamber of denier websites that pushes the same old discredited lies over and over again.

36 minutes ago, feu said:

They simply cannot address the issue without descending into vituperation. I will not repeat the many vicious terms they apply when arguing the issue.

Ég ætlaði að týna úr þessu mestu svívirðingarnar, en gafst hreinlega upp, ein löng svívirðing. Merkilegt með loftslagshremmaranna, held að þeir virkilega trúi því að þeir séu betri en við efasmendar (afneitarar að sjálfsögðu, flatjarðarsina, illmenni, á mála). En ekkert af þessu svaravert að sjálfsögðu.

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Eins og þæg rolla röltir Foj með hinum rollunum í hjörðinni, og jarmar þegar honum er sagt að jarma.

Það er þungbært að horfa upp á að hluta mannkyns er það lífsins ómögulegt að komast út úr hjarðhugsuninni, og komast meðal okkar hinna sem fögnum frelsi einstaklingsins til sjálfstæðrar hugsunar.

Þægur töltir Foj á garðann og étur fóðrið sem húsbændur hans skammta honum.
 

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29 minutes ago, Fórnarlambið said:

Það er þungbært að horfa upp á að hluta mannkyns er það lífsins ómögulegt að komast út úr hjarðhugsuninni, og komast meðal okkar hinna sem fögnum frelsi einstaklingsins til sjálfstæðrar hugsunar.

Rétt, það er þungbært mjög, niðurdrepandi og vekur hjá manni ótta þessi heimska svo margra. Hvað getur þessi heimska náð háu stigi? Er það alveg óhugsanlegt að við efasemdar þurfum að óttast um hag okkar, að við verðum ofsóttir eða eitthvað verra?

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Greip aðeins niður í þennan þráð þarna á Quora. 

Hér svarar einn (Lee Thé) honum. 

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I think you're missing something important here: how much of the onling global warming debate is not with actual "concerned individual" but instead with paid operatives.

>>After I wrote about online astroturfing in December, I was contacted by a whistleblower. He was part of a commercial team employed to infestinternet forums and comment threads on behalf of corporate clients, promoting their causes and arguing with anyone who opposed them.

Like the other members of the team, he posed as a disinterested member of the public. Or, to be more accurate, as a crowd of disinterested members of the public: he used 70 personas, both to avoid detection and to create the impression there was widespread support for his pro-corporate arguments.<<

These astroturf libertarians are the real threat to internet democracy

The software used to establish and manage all those online personas is called "online relationship management software" and is available from companies like Raven Software.

The same software and organizations are used to manipulate online product reviews as well. It has been estimated that nearly a third of what you read on Yelp, Amazon, TripAdvisor etc. come from such firms.

Fyrsta svarið hans:

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Given the number of deniers showing up, it is certainly reasonable to think that they must be paid. And the uniformity of their arguments -- they all appear to be reading from the same script -- adds strength to your hypothesis. The one thing that bothers me is that their arguments are so DUMB. One would think that their employers would want better service for their money.
Thanks for the information; I'll look it up.

 

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19 tímum síðan, feu said:

Flott svar við þessari spurningu á www.Quora.com.  

"Self fulling prophecy"

Innihaldslaust blaður

Það má gera betur en þetta

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Sýnist þessi afstöðu-ómynd vera mörgum áhyggjuefni. Hvað dregur vagninn.. ekki þekking, ekki ein einasta geta til meðvitaðrar hugsunar, ekki einu sinni trú á vísindum.. hvað er það þá?

Hér svarar Lee aftur:

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Lee Thé Jul 1, 2014 · 4 upvotes including Chris Crawford

Their answers are scientifically dumb--but propagandistically brilliant. You have to look at it sociologically. Their points all fit into an emotionally satisfying narrative that's clear, simple...and wrong (to paraphrase H.L Mencken or some such).

But these aren't people who use their cerebral cortex for much more than cushioning for the parts of the brain they do use....

 

 

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24 minutes ago, feu said:

Sýnist þessi afstöðu-ómynd vera mörgum áhyggjuefni. Hvað dregur vagninn.. ekki þekking, ekki ein einasta geta til meðvitaðrar hugsunar, ekki einu sinni trú á vísindum.. hvað er það þá?

Hér svarar Lee aftur:

 

Þú mannst kannski eftir kosningunum í Sovét ríkjunum í den, alltaf um það bil 97% útkoma. 

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Þessi Lee Thé vera algjör snillingur.. fann þetta svar eftir hann á Quora. 

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Lee Thé, native Californian; BA Sociology UCLA; backgrounds in advertising, school teaching, but mostly computer mag...

Answered Jan 19, 2017

There are two kinds of stupid: One is limited mental capacity caused by something physical/chemical— the genetic roll of the dice, problems in utero / childbirth / trauma / exposure to lead during childhood etc.

The other kind is the decision to be stupid, even when one has the mental capacity to be smart. This is primarily found in fearful people who take refuge from the complexities of life in the warm embrace of an ideology—one that gives them clear, simple, emotionally appealing, wrong answers to every problem.

Now if you believe things contrary to reality, reality has a tendency to smack you at some point. I’m a scuba diver. If I ignore the many rules and cautions of this very technical sport, there’s a good chance I’ll be seriously injured or even die.

But you can safely deny the fact of dangerous, man-caused climate change. Probably. Depending on just where you live & stuff. Mostly, though, your sins will be visited upon your children, and theirs, and theirs. And what have they ever done for you?

Even if your seaside home is washed away in a storm surge you can always say it was a storm, not ACC (Anthropogenic Climate Change). And since ACC is probabalistic and a constellation of trends, not any single event per se, you could even be right about that particular storm.

On the other hand, accepting the reality of ACC would be costly—socially—for the average right winger. Confessing to accepting ACC would be like telling his friends he voted for Clinton, producing acrimonious debates during social occasions and even social shunning. Ideologues (Left and Right) aren’t very tolerant of heresy.

So right wing ideologues pretty much have to reject ACC. Then there’s the Muddled Middle—those who aren’t ideologues but also aren’t very technical, and aren’t well equipped to sort the wheat from the chaff as they hear the conflicting arguments of the scientists and liberals vs. the avalanche of fossil fuel industry propaganda parroted by right wing pols, pundits, talk show hosts etc.

That demographic cohort doubts climate change, not as an article of faith but as a confession of confusion.

This is aided and abetted by the nature of climate science, which is both complex and fuzzy, and deals with multigenerational timeframes that the human mind has trouble grasping.

Now loop back to the idea that people who are psychologically conservative are more influenced by the potential downside of a new idea than on the upside—after all, that’s what “conservative” means, right? So thy aren’t going to be early adopters.

Meaning they won’t “adopt” ACC until it’s proven.

Only it is proven. New scientific ideas can take decades to prove, or longer, on the path from hypothesis to settled science. ACC was first hypothesized in the 1820s, didn’t become the majority conclusion among climate scientists until the 1970s, became generally accepted across the sciences by the turn of this century, and as of around 2005 became the formal position of virtually every national science association in every field.

Yet due to a billion dollar propaganda blitz by the fossil fuel industry and its allies, a majority of Americans don’t even realize it’s settled science, at least a decade after the fact.

For anyone with a college education to think it’s anything but settled science today, in 2017, they’d have to have made that choice to be stupid. Not that any will admit it. But when you challenge such people, you quickly learn that it is wilful stupidity—a fearful retreat from the inconvenient truths of reality.

Which is the difference between ideologues and those with a commitment to science—to follow it wherever it leads, even when it means giving up things you were emotionally invested in believing.

But instead the intentionally stupid dwell in their ideological bubble, associating with like-minded people, getting all their (mis)information from that bubble’s mediasphere, which reinforces the skein of fake facts that give them a comforting alternate reality in which they’re always pandered to, always right, and everything wrong is the fault of the Other. They only venture out of the bubble to proselytize.

I can only think of one ACC skeptic on Quora who’s changed his mind. The rest just resort to the usual rhetorical evasions, doubling down even when they lose the debate. And then start fuming about conspiracies and what do those science guys know anyway and climate science isn’t science yada yada yada.

They certainly got the appropriate President for them.

Partisan_Gabs_ClimateChange.png

Partisan Gaps on Environment and Global Warming

Another Pew-AAAS survey found that only 6% of AAAS scientists admit to being Republican. I bet that wasn’t true before the GOP took in all the Dixiecrats under Nixon’s Southern Strategy, morphing the GOP into the anti-science party it has become.

To be fair, science rejection is a bipartisan failing, as this Pew survey shows:

Major Gaps Between the Public, Scientists on Key Issues

Which is wny in many ways the real conflict is between ideologues—Left and Right—vs. pragmatic moderates—Left-leaning and Right-leaning.

But with ACC the onus falls mainly on Republicans, while, say, the anti-vaccine crowd swings both ways (as Trump is showing).

 

 

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