Identity trumps evidence? Quelle horreur!

People who are alarmed about warming often express concerns about the failure of communication to the general public. A recent piece in Quillette reported some research on the “deficit model” that asserts that members of the public dismiss science and the warnings from climate scientists because they have a deficit of understanding.

A large survey by Yale Professor Dan Kahan found that people with an extensive understanding of science were less concerned about climate change than were those with less understanding. Quelle horreur or words to that effect! To explain this Kahan proposed a cultural cognition thesis to suggest that cultural identity is a primary influence on the perception of science. On this account our perception of science is largely a matter of social identity and our opinions are governed more by tribal loyalties than by what we know about the topic.

The cultural cognition thesis was proposed to explain conservative resistance to alarm about warming but two can play at that game. What if people of the progressive left have embraced climate alarmism as a core issue and made that a matter of tribal loyalty and personal identity regardless of the evidence? Quelle horreur in spades!

The debate will go on and the picture may become clearer as we discover how many of the dire predications of warming come to pass.

In the meantime, contemplate the cost and the damage that is being caused by policies to save the planet by reducing emissions. Pardon my French:)

This entry was posted in Global warming and climate change policy, Rafe. Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to Identity trumps evidence? Quelle horreur!

  1. Dr Fred Lenin

    How about the climateers having a”deficit of sanity”? How ya like them little apples perfesser?

  2. The Left is always tribal, in every respect. So it goes without saying that belief in catastrophic climate change goes with tribal beliefs.

  3. Confused Old Misfit

    The debate will go on and our know-nothing politicians will continue to be enthralled by the sycophantic academics and commercial rent seekers who will continue to predict that disaster is just arounf the corner unless we ge $XX,XXX,XXX,XXX to carry out research and recommend a solution.
    And all of the time there will be no measurable change in the climate that can be unequivocally ascribed to anthropogenic sources.

  4. JohnA

    bemused #2750062, posted on June 29, 2018, at 2:13 pm

    The Left is always tribal, in every respect. So it goes without saying that belief in catastrophic climate change goes with tribal beliefs.

    More than that, the issues (climate change, SSM, genderism, whatever else is fashionably rebellious) are flags or rallying points to define the tribe.

  5. Chris

    More than that, the issues (climate change, SSM, genderism, whatever else is fashionably rebellious) are flags or rallying points to define the tribe.

    Katharine Betts called them marker issues.

  6. Mother Lode

    Ha!

    Confronted with the fact that the scientifically more literate were sceptics they had to introduce a new
    – thoroughly irrelevant – element that could be (ab)used to dismiss the more scientifically literate.

  7. Bushdoc

    I am a medical docotr. Most of my extended family and friends are either medicos or scientists including PhD’s in theoretical physics, chemistry, biology, geo-magnetics, nuclear physics and nanotechnology. Oddly they like me are all sceptics. I have a brother with a first class honours in English Literature, he is a believer in AGW. All of his friends from the world of tbe arts are believers, I think that says something.

  8. Sincerely is a very strong thesis because with what we have seen in recent years the so-called socialism of the 21st century is appropriated even the most infamous to influence minorities, I find something extremely Machiavellian, but unfortunately possible.

    Regardless of whether or not global warming is a tool that these people have used as a political campaign, human beings deserve a better world and that definitely means a world without pollution.

  9. Mother Lode

    Dan Kahan might think he found his tribe an out with this laughable sophistry, but the tribes will be able to dismiss his work in his discipline when they decide some identity trumps his merit.

  10. egg_

    The Left is always tribal, in every respect. So it goes without saying that belief in catastrophic climate change goes with tribal beliefs.

    Lefty STEM types must just go along with the meme.

  11. John Constantine

    Did see a meme not long ago on social media.

    ” What if there is no climate change, and we end up with a Fairer, Cleaner and more Just planet for nothing?.”

    Their left is just checking their options, and this one was popular.

    All equal in the gulags, Comrades.

  12. Rafe Champion

    Mark, just as long as you don’t think there is any such thing as carbon pollution!

  13. egg_

    ” What if there is no climate change, and we end up with a Fairer, Cleaner and more Just planet for nothing?.”

    An about face from their “precautionary principle”.

  14. Bruce of Newcastle

    The biggest tell is that CAGW climate scientists refuse to debate sceptical scientists.
    That is because the few that have been mousetrapped into a debate have lost abjectly.
    They lost because the sceptical scientists know the data better and can explain it better.
    But CAGW climate scientists cannot accept this because if they did they’d be cast out of the herd.
    Like Peter Ridd.
    Big money rides on being seen to be loyal to the lie.

  15. struth

    What if there is no climate change, and we end up with a Fairer, Cleaner and more Just planet for nothing?.”

    What the U.N is calling for and traitorous western governments are slavishly following to the letter, will bring about anything but.

    You are enabling a second dark age.
    According to the U.N. only the west contribute to climate change, and therefore must sacrifice their wealth to totalitarian and failed cultures who can pollute as they wish.
    Lets see your just world come out of that.

  16. Up The Workers!

    1). Name 10 people who have been savagely “warmed to death” by gerbil worming in the last 10 years.

    2). Name 10 people who have been killed by that lethally dangerous toxic gas, human breath in the last 10 years.

    3). Name 10 nations which have been drowned under the allegedly ‘rising’ sea levels which have remained static in the 200 years since the tide levels were first carved into the rocks at Pinchgut in Sydney Harbour and at the Isle of the Dead at Port Arthur, Tasmania.

    4). Name 10 aboriginal people who can be proven to have been “stolen” from their families for no reason other than racism.

    Crickets chirping…………………………..

  17. egg_

    You are enabling a second dark age.

    Nailed it.
    Post WWII Fascism raises its ugly head.

  18. Tintarella di Luna

    Hi Rafe, I immediately thought of the late great very funny George Carlin in 1992 — the planet’s fine –– the people are ..(he used that in-and-out vernacular word)

  19. RobK

    What if there is no climate change, and we end up with a Fairer, Cleaner and more Just planet for nothing?.”
    That goes along with:”well surely coal and oil will runout sometime; might as well adjust now.”
    No, we will not end up with a fairer, cleaner and more just planet by following the designated UN path because handouts dont work, education might but it will definately not be for nothing.
    No, fossil fuels won’t suddenly runout. Some time in the future they will perhaps slowly get more expensive, if we haven’t by then superseded that need for fuel. Nukes could help now, for example.
    Back in the seventies the claim was “if the same amount of government support was funneled into solar as nuclear power, then solar would be economic.”
    This is by now also shown to be incorrect. Nukes had some military applications as fuel and weapons. Solar can charge remote bateries for communications it has bearly improved on that in 50 years despite massive capital input.

  20. Tel

    Lefty STEM types must just go along with the meme.

    My understanding of the situation is that a lot of STEM people don’t want to get into hard hitting political confrontation. It’s difficult enough to achieve anything in a high-tech field in terms of time and effort spent, and needing to deal with the style of harassment that Maxine Waters advocates is pretty debilitating to an individual. Thus the option is to abandon doing what you want to do and go elsewhere or just go along and try not to attract attention.

    The fact that the leftists continuously use a bunch of social tactics INSTEAD of openly debating the actual science basically tells you they know they are wrong, but just want to believe it anyway for religious reasons:
    * Linkage between moral virtue and a scientific theory is intrinsically bullshit, it is only there to bully people and has no valid scientific standing.
    * Belief that business people respond to incentives but government funded scientists are somehow more pure and willing to sacrifice everything for the “truth” seems awfully convenient.
    * The small number of government scientists who did speak out pretty quickly got thrown out of their jobs (e.g. Ed Krug) even when they were originally respected before they said the wrong thing.
    * Leftists are serial hypocrites and change principles very rapidly in a belief that history can always be erased, it’s hilarious to hear them pretend to defend the Constitution (remember that “living Constitution”, I guess it must be still alive huh).
    * Leftists consistently play the man instead of addressing the issue.
    * If they were all so pure and didn’t care about money, why do they howl so loud when their government grants aren’t quite as large as they were hoping?
    * If they care about “truth” then why to they feel the need to constantly distort what their opponents are saying, instead of actually addressing the question?

    There’s a strong pattern to it, and it’s unmistakable which side are the tribalists here.

  21. Dr Fred Lenin

    The Washington post comrades have found a new lie to tell against Trump , the destroyer of leftists , it seems that Trump ,Putin and Farage plotted together to get Brexit voted in . A Britishmillionaire supporter of Brexit knew Nigel Farage who knows Trump ,the millionaire is alleged to have had a meal with the Russian Ambassador in the juxurious embassy .This is conclusive evidence ? A bit like that asshole mueller getting a communist obamaist judge to jail a man for talking to witnesses. But that’s no excuse he had not been told were witnesses ,but that’s no excuse for breaking socialis “law”. Be interesting to see if mueller runs with this ,he has bugger all else . Oh , and by the way , Trump was “an insurgent candidate “? Now there’s a Newie . Talk about clutching at straws,these bastards are drowning in their own filth .

  22. Mother Lode

    Regardless of whether or not global warming is a tool that these people have used as a political campaign, human beings deserve a better world and that definitely means a world without pollution.

    And yet, that is not the argument they are mounting, instead relying on terrible stories of annihilation as punishment for transgression of sacred taboos.

    Quick quiz: The countries with a record of improving on their environmental credentials achieved it through go forwards or backwards technologically and industrially?

    Capitalism’s great gift is that it rewards greater efficiency – doing more with fewer resources.

  23. struth

    Regardless of whether or not global warming is a tool that these people have used as a political campaign, human beings deserve a better world and that definitely means a world without pollution.

    Policies at the moment increase pollution.

    We do it cleaner than China, but we give production to China (on U.N. orders) and go on the dole.

    Great effort, climate dickheads.

  24. Tel

    But CAGW climate scientists cannot accept this because if they did they’d be cast out of the herd.
    Like Peter Ridd.

    There’s a long list of outcasts, and there’s evidence that the government money goes preferentially to the “believers”. Even people like David Bellamy who was a great favourite at the BBC and loved by the audience got very quickly booted the moment he went against the narrative.

    Indeed, someone should get all those stories together on the one website, because it would make an excellent outline of how those leftists operate.

  25. RobK

    Thanks for the George Carlin link Tinta.
    I’d not seen him before. He runs an entertaining line.

  26. manalive

    … human beings deserve a better world and that definitely means a world without pollution …
    … Mark, just as long as you don’t think there is any such thing as carbon pollution! …

    There is such a thing as carbon pollution, carbon particulates or soot, for instance you can see it coming out of the tail pipes of poorly maintained diesel vehicles, smoke from wood-burning stoves etc.
    It remains in the air for relatively short periods.
    Regulations controlling soot, nitrous oxides etc. are in force in most advanced countries and have been for some time.

    Mark is not alone in swallowing the line peddled by ‘the baptists and the bootleggers’, the alarmists and the rent-seekers, helped along by politicians who also seem to be genuinely confused (or genuinely stupid) like Julia Gillard and her “polluders’.
    But as anyone who has bothered to take a little time to inform themselves carbon pollution, as Rafe implies, has nothing whatsoever to do with the so-called enhanced greenhouse effect and by extension the global average temperature anomaly.
    That’s carbon dioxide (CO2) a colourless odourless gas, you can’t see it you can’t smell it, that naturally forms part of the atmosphere and always has and is essential for life on Earth.

  27. struth

    Not necessarily poorly maintained diesel vehicles.
    It’s unburned fuel.
    Compression ignition.
    Achieved by pumping more fuel in than can be burned.
    People do this when racing and dragging trucks, and do it purposefully.
    Poorly maintained vehicles of course, do it as well.
    Most common fault, restricted air intake.

  28. RobK

    (CO2) a colourless odourless gas, you can’t see it you can’t smell it, 
    When it is in very high concentrations in the air or water you can taste it.

  29. RobK

    Most common fault, restricted air intake.
    ….or injectors not atomizing properly.

  30. Roger

    Quillette reported some research on the “deficit model” that asserts that members of the public dismiss science and the warnings from climate scientists because they have a deficit of understanding.

    Whatever happened to scientific scepticism re empirical claims and, even more so, computer modeling?

    Perhaps the general public understands more than they are given credit for?

  31. 2dogs

    Separate Left Wing and Right Wing versions of the scientific method have emerged.

    There is little prospect for agreement on science matters until this conflict is resolved.

  32. Rafe Champion

    Re carbon pollution I should have said no such thing as pollution by CO2 the colourless gas!

  33. Leo G

    Re carbon pollution I should have said no such thing as pollution by CO2 the colourless gas!

    It’s as if the definition of “pollution” is going full circle. The first use of the word was in the mid 14th century from Late Latin and referred to “discharge of semen other than during coitus”.

  34. mareeS

    Social ostracism is a powerful weapon to keep susceptible people in line.

    Some years ago I participated in a university PhD study on the subject. Basically, my contribution was an outlier, in that I don’t give a flying what other people think of me or my opinions. Just about every other participant said that it mattered how they were perceived by people they regarded as their peers.

    I am regarded as rather exotic in my family and circle of friends for holding conservative opinions and liking Tony Abbott, while most of the others hug a refugee or a tree per day and work in the “helping” careers.

    One can’t choose one’s parents or siblings, but the spouse and kids are more amenable to my line, which may indicate common sense has a future.

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