FoxNews.com ran a story entitled "Global warming sleptics as knowledgeable about science as climate change believers." According to the article "people who are not that worried about the effects of global warming tend to have a slightly higher level of scientific knowledge than those who are worried.” But Fox failed to note that the questions asked by the study it was citing had no relation to climate change and that the study considered more variables than Fox decided to mention.
The study, published by the Nature Climate Change journal, attempted to determine, via a series of questions, whether scientific knowledge correlated with trust or distrust of climate change. Fox said, "the study notes: 'Respondents who were relatively less worried about global warming got 57 percent of (the questions) right, on average, just barely outscoring those whose who saw global warming as a bigger threat. They got 56 percent of the questions correct'." What was missing however, were the details.
First, the survey was NOT a climate change survey, but a general knowledge survey about subjects probably learned in middle or high school, on topics ranging from thermodynamics to genetics. Some of the questions were:
The center of the Earth is very hot (True/False)
Electrons are smaller than atoms (True/False)
All radioactivity is man-made (True/False)
It is the father's gene that determines if the baby is a boy or girl (True/False)
Not a single one of those questions touches on climate change, or on close subjects such as the water cycle or pollution.
Fox then noted that the survey said, "As respondents’ science literacy scores increased, their concern with climate change decreased.” However, the study also tried to determine how individualistic or how egalitarian its respondents were by asking them to respond to the following:
The government interferes far too much in everyday life (True/False).
The government should do more to advance society's goals even if it means limiting the freedom and choices of individuals (True/False).
The study found that people answered more inline with their cultural norms (how individualistic they were), rather than scientific knowledge:
"On the contrary, our findings could be viewed as evidence of how remarkably well-equipped ordinary individuals are to discern which stances towards scientific information secure their personal interests.”
While Fox acknowledged that the Nature Climate Change study polled participants in this manner, the article made a point of casting doubt on the climate change believers by putting quotation marks around “scientific consensus” in the following paragraph:
Both sides of the global warming debate say the study's findings support their views. Those who worry about global warming say it shows that cultural biases blind even smart people to the “scientific consensus.”
Then, for extra climate-change skepticism, Fox cited a Wall Street Journal opinion article signed by 16 scientists, arguing that climate change is neither real nor an immediate problem. But polls of scientists overwhelmingly support the theory that climate change is real and manmade: The American Meteorological Society, The American Association for the Advancement of Science, and The American Geophysical Union all agree that we need to reduce our carbon footprint in order to stop climate change.
Well done Fox, in a study that finds cultural biases determine knowledge, you have further cemented your readers' doubts on climate change!
@Yakki PsD I didn’t “wait” a week to drop a bomb, I have other things to do, and that (and this) was (is) the first chance I could get to come back here.
Ironic that you must rely on a “Fox News has taught you well” line, when I’ve been doing this kind of critical thinking long before Fox existed.
Here’s a challenge for you: Show us all what evidence you have to back up your assertion that I ‘took the stand that global warming wasnât happening’. Look though EVERY single one of my writings and reproduce the exact phrase where I have ever said that. You make the assertion, now its your move to prove it.
The only reason why I lean to the skeptic side at all, as I’ve already pointed out several times, is because of the manner in which folks promoting the idea of man-caused global warming work so hard to marginalize skeptics in the eyes of the public. Exactly what part of the idea about causing the skeptics to engage in self censorship do you not understand, when it comes to the effort to first embarrass them into doing that with stacks of evidence that their skeptic assessments are fabricated, faulty, and demonstratively false?
Fascinating you contend people on your side take up the fight because they “believe” in it. Science is not something you believe in, it is what it is, and the accusation against skeptics is not something to “believe” in, you present the facts as a whole and don’t leave out critical details. There can’t hardly be anything more self destructive than a side of an argument that runs from debate, marginalizes its critics, refuses to share scientific methodology, and erases commentary when it undercuts the main thrust of the argument.
Removing and sequestering CO2 does NOT make the air cleaner. As you well know, CO2 is not a pollutant except for the EPA’s “definition” of it as something that harms health and human welfare. Are you not aware that your assertion about the benefit of ‘cleaner air’ ends up looking like a shell-game distraction when you mention this?
I most certainly do think about a cleaner planet, healthier lives, etc, that’s why this push to regulate CO2 is so baffling because it does NOTHING to accomplish that goal, but instead wastes resources, time and money. So another of the dominoes falls about people like me ‘not thinking about a better planet’. What’s your next fallback position since that one didn’t work out?
On your final point about a trial: I practically beg for this to be played out in a trial, any day of the week and twice on Sundays. Skeptic scientists are enriching themselves? Again, two words: PROVE IT! Where’s your evidence? Your prosecutors may try to ‘point this out’, as you say, but in the absence of any proof to back it up, “poof” goes the whole trial, and we are right back to square one where instead it looks like the enviro-activists were the ones manufacturing doubt about the credibility of the skeptics.
Bravo sir,bravo. Fox News has taught you well.
No,you didn’t say you believed it wasn’t happening. But you certainly took the stand that it wasn’t,making excuses for the ‘skeptics’ and fighting their fight. Why sir,if you did not believe their point of view would you even take their side in the argument? Devils advocate? Trollery? I do not know why. At any rate,it’s not self destructive,but self preservation that drives people to take up this fight,one that they believe in. Same as the other side takes up the fight for personal reasons. Many do it for money on both sides sadly,instead of letting the clear science stand on it’s own. And the science is more than compelling that it is happenings,and we are exsacerbating the issue by out polluting ways. But let’s put it like this,even if,IF those climatologists and thousands of scientists who support global warming were wrong(they aren’t)….but if they were,who is harmed here? All our children get cleaner air and water. Healthier lives. A chance at a better existence and a better planet. I fail to understand why this goes unnoticed by deniers in their writings or speeches. They never think about that,it’s always ’it’s gonna hurt my business!’ or the corporation they work for is going to suffer. When in reality we all will suffer due to the actual effects of global warming.
Oh,and if you’ll excuse me since your reply came so late,simple fact: Oil and Natural Gas company execs,if brought to trial with deniers might argue that they simply agree with those relatively few ‘skeptic’ scientists and that’s all it is to it. However,prosecuters would be remiss if they did not point out that this agreement means that they are enriching themselves greatly. And that,sir,is called motive. I personally would love to see it played out in our courts. Let the hearings begin.
And this proves….. what? Take this as your primary evidence in a court trial to indict skeptic climate scientists and their cross-examining attourney will ask the jury how you or anybody else first disproves that fossil fuel industry funding – however paltry it may be – is NOT given because the execs simply agree with what the skeptics say. Is that the best you can do, guilt-by-association? In order to prove it discredits the skeptic scientists, you have to show how specific amounts of money was exchanged for specific false fabricated climate science reports or opinions. What part of that do you not understand? Citing “exxonsecrets.org” only lands you in deeper trouble since they never show any such direct evidence.
I don’t know how it can be any more basic to understand: if you cannot prove skeptic scientists are paid to confuse the public (meaning they know the science is settled and are lying about it) your only fallback defense position to save the idea of man-caused global warming is to then show where skeptics’ climate assessments and evaluations of the IPCC are wrong.
@Dirk Hoydonckx I can’t possibly be a believer when I find two sides with diametrically unresolved opposing conclusions, and it makes it all the harder for me to believe the man-caused side when so much effort is made to marginalize critics rather than engage them in debate. Commenters “truman” and “Lakeview Greg” illustrate this problem very nicely with their meaningless comments. One has to wonder why this is the best they have to offer. Commenter “Kent Brockman” walks right into a wipeout about ‘the unknowables’. You can either prove the corruption of the skeptic scientists or you can’t. There’s nothing vague or unknowable about that.
Regarding commenter “Yakki PsD”, exactly what is “my idea”? I’ve never said global warming isn’t happening, it obviously has been ever since the ice age. What we need to confirm before we take any action is whether human activity exacerbates the problem in any significant measurable amount. True believers have put the cart before the horse and are proceeding to solve a ‘problem’ before establishing that there is anything we can do to stop it or whether such action ends up causing worse problems. And the most troubling part of this all is the manner in which such believers knock themselves out to tell the public not to listen to skeptics.
This is an inexplicable, self-destructive tactic, giving the appearance that the IPCC and its followers have something to hide, and / or are scared to death that they’ll be embarrassed to admit they placed all their faith in an ideology without doing any kind of due dilligence to be sure it didn’t have fatal faults. Me, I have nothing to lose. Show me the evidence skeptic scientists are corrupted by fossil fuel money and you not only win me over, you reassure your friends that your side is solid. Fail to do so, and you undermine it, and people begin to wonder why you can’t back up what you say, and why you rely on such a flimsy accusation as your central reason to ignore skeptic scientists.
Well to me that says that both groups were worried about it but one group was more worried than the other. Nowhere does it make reference to people who didn’t believe in, or were not at all worried about global warming.
This reply is likely wasted energy but I decided to put in a small effort just in case you really are interested in the âtwoâ sides to the climate change story.
There is no controversy about climate change. The two sides of the story are clear. There is the scientific side that says global warming is happening and it is man made and there is the side of the believers that say that global warming is in question and even if global warming is happening then it is not proven that it is man made.
You are clearly a believer. I want to be a believer. However, I will not be a believer just because it is convenient. Global warming is happening, it is man made and if we donât take drastic action immediately then the future of mankind looks very bleak. (Personally, I say that itâs already too late to prevent serious consequences since I do not see enough of the needed change. We should still take that drastic action to avoid worse though.)
Since you have taken up the âchallengeâ yourself itâs likely that you are familiar with the information put out by people like James Hansen and Clive Hamilton. If not then I recommend reading up on what they have to say about climate change.
An easier way to start is to watch some decent documentaries about climate change. Iâll give two links that present a good and easy way to start:
I do agree with you when you say: âNo need to trust me on thisâ. Youâre absolutely right and I sincerely hope that people follow that advise. Scientists usually donât publish papers for peer review without having overwhelming evidence. Those that use popular media to publish articles, not subject to peer review in that case, are not to be taken seriously.
Iâll end with a âcontroversial statementâ: climate change deniers and those funding them are committing crimes against humanity. In the future they will be judged as such. I have no doubts that nature itself will survive and revive. I do have serious doubts that humans will be part of that revival since they will all be dead. Put somewhat differently: climate change deniers and their sugar daddies are likely responsible for the worst terrorist action ever.
This is total junk “science.” I have seen several studies (carried out by actual scientists) which have come to the complete opposite conclusion…..the better informed and educated a subject is, the more one is concerned about climate change.
re: “As a regular Fox viewer, Iâd consider myself quite knowledgeable on the topic.”
LOL! That’s damning!
Most scientific work has red-flags and counter-theories – it’s comes with the territory.
re: “To that, I offer two words: prove it.”
Sorry Charlie, your type of Tuna will never make into a Star-Kist can.
Nice try though. You should consider this:
GÃ¶del’s incompleteness theorems
It applies to how human minds work. Watch out for the unknowables you can never account for.
Go see how many support your idea,versus how many scientists support that Global Warming is a real phenomina. You don’t even have to throw out the ‘man made’ part of your arguement. That makes very little difference to the fact that global warming IS happening.
But,as to the man made idea,even if they are wrong and this global warming trend is being created by man….would it not be prudent to not exsacerbate the issue by dumping millions of metric tons of greenhouse pollutants into the atmostphere? It seems to me that everyone who denies the existence of global warming sticks on this very point. It’s almost as dumb as a man arguing that it’s ok for this corporation to dump chemicals into the groundwater,because,well,it’s only one company and they can’t dump that much. Of course said person forgets that there are others like themself stating the same thing for other companies,dumping chemicals of their own into the ground water at the same time.
So you asked for proof? A simple looks at the sheer,overwhelming number of scientists,including climatologists who support global warming should be proof enough. Unless you think that minority of ‘skeptics’ opinions outwiegh theirs.
This would appear to illustrate your own ignorance on the topic and about science in general. Scientific observations are not validated with ‘polls’ and your assertion here is a most basic of the ‘appeals to authority’ fallacy.
As a regular Fox viewer, I’d consider myself quite knowledgeable on the topic, but am by no means any kind of climate expert. I simply encourage people to examine both sides of the issue and make their own decision.
What I find inexplicable is the manner in which promoters of man-caused global warming tell people NOT to listen to skeptic scientists, while tossing out unsupportable guilt-by-association accusations of the scientists being allied with fossil fuel industries in a parallel to the way ‘expert shills’ were allied with the old tobacco industries. To that, I offer two words: prove it.
I took up that challenge myself, and instead of finding nice neat answers, I found a sea of red flags with the accusation that anyone can find. No need to trust me on this, try it yourself – ask what the evidence is and whether you can find particular coal industry memos that so many cite as “smoking gun” evidence, and then try to read them in their full context. While you are at it, see if anyone independently corroborates the accusation and who the people repeating the accusation cite as their source.
Go ahead, try that.