A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).



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NY Times makes out climate change believers are forced to speak in hidden codes

More Fake News from the NY Times

Here’s a creative effort to sell the story that the people with billion dollar industries, all the academic positions and a sympathetic media entourage are going underground, forced to disguise their belief about “climate change”.

This is a death-throes type article, clutching for ways to pretend Global Worriers are still relevant, and to feed a fantasy that they might be the underdog.

In America’s Heartland, Discussing Climate Change Without Saying ‘Climate Change’

So while climate change is part of daily conversation, it gets disguised as something else.

“People are all talking about it, without talking about it,” said Miriam Horn, the author of a recent book on conservative Americans and the environment, “Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman.” “It’s become such a charged topic that there’s a navigation people do.”

What really happened is that climate change is overused agitprop and people are tired of being beaten over the head with it. The first most compelling example the NY Times can find is a farmer called Doug Palen who talks about “carbon sequestration” in his soil (and what crop farmer wouldn’t?) Palen is painted as a “believer”:

Psychoanalysis shows Nuclear Power stops countries meeting climate targets

Only higher education could produce something this silly.

The University of Sussex gets the credit for a paper that argues that countries that are committed to nuclear energy are progressing slower towards the holy grail of meeting “climate targets”. This discovery coincidentally comes exactly as the UK Hinkley Point “hangs in the balance”. What were the odds?

The Newspeak starts in the headline — what’s a “climate target”. My personal climate target is to move into the tropics each winter, but the EU climate target is not about reducing temperatures over Spain, but about “more windmills”. The climate target of the EU has apparently got nothing much to do with the climate:

…the EU’s 2020 Strategy — to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, increase the share of renewable energy to at least 20% of consumption, and achieve energy savings of 20% or more by 2020…

They cluster countries in to 3 groups and discover that the countries that plan to maintain or expand nuclear energy (eg Bulgaria, Hungary and the UK) are not cutting emissions as fast as countries that have no nukes (Denmark, Ireland, and Norway).

Could it be, I wonder, because […]

Climate Grief — Believers mourning — It’s denial and anger (but it sure isn’t science)

Those who believe the Glorious Climate Models (GCMs) are in trouble. Many of them have spent their entire careers soaking in dire predictions, but things are falling apart — (or rather, not falling apart) — the models don’t work, the public doesn’t care, the media are not that interested, and skeptics keep winning Bloggies awards. Spare a thought for them. It’s tough out there for unskeptical people. Children still know what snow is.

Things are unravelling in believer-land and there is pain. They are witnessing “the wholesale destruction of the planet”, or perhaps the death of a hypothesis, which is nearly as bad.

Truthout, where no conspiracy is too grand, and skeptical scientists are bastards

The headline reads:

“Mourning Our Planet: Climate Scientists Share Their Grieving Process”

The 3,000 word extravaganza of psychological pain is published by an NGO aptly called Truthout (think, “LightsOut”?)

“Climate science researchers, scientists, journalists and activists have all been struggling with grief around what we are witnessing.”

There’s an angry professor calling other scientists who disagree “greedy, lying bastards” and talking of backing “you plutocrats, denialists, fossil-fuel hacks “ against the wall. Another professor blames ACD for the driving cause of her […]

What’s an alarmist to do? Extreme weather images lead to denial (like everything else does)

I sense much gnashing of teeth. There seems to be nothing a reasonable social-science communicator can do. If they write like conservative scientists, the public don’t worry enough, if they load on the fear and guilt, people turn off. They can hammer the anti-science notion of consensus, which seems to work a treat in inept five minute surveys, but “the consensus” has been all over the press, in school, and in documentaries, yet (wail and weep) the polls of public alarm are still sliding! The media is even less interested. (See Figure 1 below).

There plots the rise and fall of climate in the media. (Figure 1 in this paper).

For the last few years the media have tried showing a lot more high-gloss posters of floods, cyclones and cracked earth, and that is not working either. It doesn’t seem to matter if we show disasters-away with stoic Sudanese or disasters-at-home with suffering suburban mortgagees, the public disengage.

Here Nerlich and Jaspal use “visual thematic analysis” (a technical word for looking at pictures and saying things about them) and publish a paper in a journal with the unlikely title “Science As Culture“.

It appears the social science communicators have […]