The Roots of Science Denial

The Roots of Science Denial

It has nothing to do with science itself, but it should.
I usually don’t weigh in on the AGW issues because I don’t like the polarization that comes from the discussions. But from a scientific point of view (mine and others) the evidence points towards this as a firm reality.
I read the following excerpt from Scientific American, 10/2017 by atmospheric scientist Katherine Hayhoe. While rather lengthy, it is a good read on the climate skepticism that appears rampant today.

“Science denial is basically anti-intellectualism. It’s a thread that has run through American society for decades, possibly even centuries. Back in 1980, Isaac Asimov said that it’s “nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’” Today we’re dealing with its most recent manifestation, at its peak.
Climate change is a special case of science denial, which of course goes back to Galileo. The Catholic Church didn’t push back on Galileo until he stuck his head out of the ivory tower and published in Italian rather than in Latin, so that he could tell the common people something that was in direct opposition to the chruch’s official program. Same with Darwin. The church didn’t have a problem with his theory of evolution until he published a popular book that everyone could read.
Similarly, we’ve known about the relationship between carbon dioxide and global warming since the 1890’s. It’s been about 50 years since scientists warned President Lyndon B. Johnson about the dangers of changing climate. But scientists back then didn’t get the deluge of hate mail that I get now. So what shifted? It started, possibly, with [Columbia University climate scientist] James Hansen’s testimony before Congress in 1988. He announced that a resource we all rely on - and makes many of the world’s biggest companies rich – is harming not just the environment but all of humanity. I think it’s no accident that Hansen is the most vilified and attacked climate scientist in the U.S. because he was the first person to emerge from an ivory tower and start talking about global warming in a sphere where its implications became apparent for policy and politics.
So you can see that the problem people have with science is never the actual science. People have a problem with the implications of science for their worldview and, even more important, for their ideology. When anti-intellectualism rises to the surface, it’s because there are new, urgent results coming out of the scientific community that challenge the perspective and status quo of people with power. Renewable energy is now posing a very significant threat to them. The more viable the technologies, the greater the pushback. It’s a last-ditch effort to resist change, which is why denial is at a fever pitch.
Today, although many of the objections to climate science are couched in science-y terms – it’s just a natural cycle, scientists aren’t sure, global cooling, could it be volcanoes – or even religious-y terms – God is in control – 99 percent of the time, that language is just a smokescreen. If you refuse to engage these arguments and push through for even five minutes, the conversation will naturally lead to profound objections to climate change solutions.

What’s Really at Play
The number one question I get from people is, “Could you just talk to my father-in-law, my congressman, my colleague? If you just explain the facts to them, I’m sure it will change their mind.” This is a trap. It turns us into Don Quixote, willing to tilt with these people and say, “Here’s how we know it’s not a natural cycle!” It almost never works. The only way to have a constructive dialogue with a dismissive person is on the level at which he or she really has the issue.
How did the narrative of climate change become polarized, faith-based system? If we look at surveys, the level of political polarization in the U.S. now compared with 20 or 30 years ago is staggering. Polarization implies a rise in tribalism: an unthinking, unquestioning adherence to the tenets of my tribe. Unfortunately, because climate solutions appear to challenge the ideology of the right-hand side of the political spectrum, it’s become one of the most polarized issues in the U.S. We’ve become so tribal that if you’re on the left, it’s like a statement of faith to say climate change is real. And if you’re on the right, it’s a tenet to say climate change isn’t real. That’s why this “belief” language has come in more naturally rather than artificially.
That said, climate change is deliberately framed as a false religion by those who want people of faith to reject it. You’ll see some conservative politicians say, “I’m a true believer, I reject that God is not in charge.” It’s a very clever messaging technique because if I’m a Christian – and more than 70% of Americans are – I’m taught to beware of false prophets. Beware of people saying things that sound good but are actually leading you to worship the created instead of the creator, Earth instead if God.
After presentations to skeptical audiences, I’ve had people say to me, “You know, this makes sense, and I wish I could agree with you, but I just can’t because that would mean I’m agreeing with Al Gore.” Any perceived earth worship immediately triggers an ingrained response to reject. One of the funny images I show in some of my talks is called the Church of Climatology, with Al Gore as the preacher, and other politicians and celebrities as the choir. Once somebody photo-shopped my head onto one of the choir members. And I thought it was absolutely hilarious because, yes, I get how people feel. We have to laugh together before we can move on to talk about beliefs versus evidence.
That’s why Al Gore is one of the best and one of the worst messengers for climate change. The best because he’s so passionate and informed and has such a great reach. At the same time – I know he recognizes this – in this politically polarized society, he firmly belongs to only one tribe. So by definition, it means the other tribe must reject him – and everything he stands for.
Climate change, of course, is also a tragedy of the commons, and it requires communal action. Yet the U.S. is the number-one most individualistic country in the world, founded on a revolt against big government and taxes. For many Americans, we have to talk more about market-based and technological solutions that appeal to their values instead of trying to change their identity. Take [Australian cognitive scientist] John Cook, who founded the blog Skeptical Science, which evaluates and pushes back on global warming denial. John couldn’t even get his own father to accept climate change. But then his fiscally conservative dad used a rebate program to get solar panels on his house. He saved all kinds of money and started telling everyone how wonderful these panels are. And later, his dad says to John, “You know, this climate change thing, it’s probably real, and I’m doing my part.” He didn’t need to be a wide-eyed tree hugger saving the whales; he could now align climate change with his own identity.
Even in the science community, there’s so much confusion over how to communicate. The deficit model – just give them the facts! – does not work in public discourse unless everybody is politically neutral. That’s why social science is increasingly important. I was the experimental method in a recent paper where a researcher asked me to speak at an evangelical Christian college. He asked the students about global warming before and after my talk and found statistically significant differences on their perspectives. Many people are now doing this kind of message testing. How humans interact with information is an emerging area of research that’s desperately important.
Scientist also tend to understate the impact of climate change. We tend to, in the words of one researcher, “[err] on the side of least drama.” We tracked 20 years’ worth of studies and found that we systematically underestimate the rate and speed of change. Climate science is under a microscope now that we like to be 99.9% sure of results before we say anything. But are we being too conservative? It’s a challenge I confront every day.

The Work Ahead
Look, we can’t fix all these issues – cultural, political, psychological – before we take the necessary action on climate change. People say to me, “Well, if you could just get everyone onboard with the science…” I’m like, good luck with that! How did that work out the past few centuries? This climate problem is urgent. The window is closing. We have to fix it with the flawed, imperfect society we have today.
We have to start by asking what people’s values are, where they’re coming from, what they love, what they fear, what gets them up in the morning. I say, “We can agree to disagree, but don’t you support solar energy bringing all these jobs to Texas? Did you know Fort Hood gets energy from solar because it’s cheaper?” If someone thinks that solar power protects us from immigrants or terrorists or the Antichrist, then great, fine. With some groups, I don’t even use the words “climate” and “change” sequentially. With Christians, we talk about the Bible’s message of stewardship. With libertarians, we talk about free-market strategies. With mom’s groups, we talk about pollution affecting our kids’ health. With farmers, I say, “Hey, you’re the backbone of our food system, how have drought patterns changed?” I don’t validate the concept that there is a left and right side to climate science. And neither should the media. We should focus instead on solutions and impacts.
My number one piece of advice for people doing climate – or any science – outreach is, don’t focus on the dismissive people. They’re really a very small part of the population, and they’re primarily older white men. Granted, the majority of them seem to be clustered in Washington, D.C., these days. Still, for people who react so emotionally, it’s because they have staked their identity on that denial. It’s as much a part of them as their kidneys or heart. When you’re asking them to change their mind, you are literally seen as a threat. It’s woth standing up to them in a public forum and saying, “You are lost. Here is the evidence.” Not for the purpose of changing their mind but to show everybody else we have the answers.
Because here’s the thing: If you look at Yale University’s climate communication surveys, most Americans agree that climate change is real, that humans are causing it and that it’s important to do something about it. But the number-one problem we’re facing is that most Americans do not think climate change affects them personally. They think it’s a problem for poor people in poor countries or for future generations. It’s in our psychology to deny an overwhelming problem that isn’t immediately bearing down on us. And until recently, we’ve been shielded by our infrastructure, our crop insurance and home insurance programs. Of course, all of that is up against the wall now, and it’s my job to connect those dots.
That’s why we [the authors of the government’s National Climate Assessment] decided to write a supplemental Climate Science Special Report this year. It’s the first time we’ve done it, and it’s the most comprehensive, definitive report on climate change that the government has ever published. It’s going through federal clearance now, slated for release in November, so we’ll see what happens. We made a lot of effort to write in a language that people can understand, and I think it really shuts down the whole “blue vs red” debate. It brings the science down to the level of where we live. You can see how climate change is affecting our food, water, economy, agriculture, infrastructure, and security.
The goal of the report is to provide a scientific basis for anyone who wants to know both broadly and specifically why climate change matters to us, now. Many, many more people in this country are in the cautious, disengaged category, but they often seem very quiet. We have to filter out the noise from the dismissive people and talk to those who are lurking near the edges, listening, not sure what they think yet about what should be done but open to dialogue. So forget this elaborate smoke screen. By falling for the illusion that climate change deniers can be convinced with more facts, we are distracted from engaging with a much larger group of people who want to understand why and how we should move forward with solutions. And that’s exactly what the deniers want.”

After following all the discourse on all the AGW threads, I’ve found out a few things:
1 – The threads followed the article above to a “T”.
2 – You will never convince the deniers.
3 – The facts and the message do get out there when you show them (and mostly others that may have no idea) where they’re wrong with the scientific facts.
4 – That science classes need retooling and mandatory for all levels of school, in the teaching of the scientific method.
Okay. I’ve said my peace. Enjoy, discuss, bandy this about, but this is all I have to say on the matter: Climate change is real and we need to change things now. No ifs, ands, or buts. Time is running out.

SamO | September 29, 2017

I vote to make Pi = 3


Mike83 | September 29, 2017

@Nexxus Thank you for a very eloquent piece.
I guess I am an old white male(embarrassed by the anti-science old whites) and I get annoyed with the people who stand to profit from doing nothing( I had a long thread of 6000 pages on the Costs of Climate Change which helped me see what you are saying). I like the way you approach the various groups. I will take your words to heed.
Your right. Showing facts, pictures, Keeling curves, even Temperatures doesn't move or change opinions.
Focusing on the majority of people and how it affects them and their families is a good way to go.
This is very revealing and I need to post it again.

Tesla-David | September 29, 2017

@Nexxus, well said, entirely agree. Dr Kathrine Hayhoe has a book I would recommend entitled: A Climate for Change, Global Warming facts for Faith Based Decisions. It expands on you piece above. She has been all over media recently discussing the linkages between recent Hurricanes and Climate Change/Disruption.

Dramsey | September 29, 2017

I am a huge fan of (western) science, which remains the best tool we have for describing the world we live in and how it works. As Heinlein said:

“What are the facts? Again and again and again – what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history” – what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!”

That said, much of the science I was taught during my life has turned out to be totally wrong: for example, humans were for decades thought to have 48 chromosomes. This was not controversial. Except we now know the correct number is 46. We were taught that dietary fat is bad, and simple carbs were good, and the Federal imprimatur of this concept, exemplified in the "food pyramid" you may recall, doomed generations of Americans to obesity-related disease and death.

Science denial is considered a conservative thing, but many progressives subscribe to the peculiar notion that gender isn't predicated by biology (I call such people "biology deniers"), but rather by personal choice; and that organic produce is somehow healthier and better than the non-organic kind. There are many other examples.

The point is that skepticism is always a good thing; the history of science is replete with Sacred Pronouncements By The Highest Authorities that are laughable today.

As a final exercise, I invite the reader to do a Google search on the phrase "years left to save the earth", and scroll through the results. How many years left do we have before an Irreversible Climate Catastrophe happens? Well, as you'll see, not only do the Highest Authorities disagree on the number, but they're not at all shy about moving the goalposts after we blow through about two decades of deadlines.

So: skeptical.

Tesla-David | September 29, 2017

@Dramsey, as the OP noted, arguing with skeptics like you is pointless and won't change your mind. I am a scientist (Ph.D. in Marine Biology) so I am steeped in the scientific method and accept the science that we have a real problem, that Climate Change is Real, and requires action. I am with @Mike83, and have elected to get my personal house in order and live in a net-positive solar paneled home, drive electric, and actively promote sustainable living. Acting to reduce ones carbon footprint and move away from carbon based fuels to a renewable energy future will Not harm Earth, but maintaining the status quo of continuing to burn fossil fuels will ultimately lead to an uninhabitable Earth after a 4-6 degree C rise in temperature, which is the trajectory we are on now.

Tesla-David | September 29, 2017

Every day the evidence documenting the reality only grows!

SamO | September 29, 2017

Jesus Dramsey . . . I quoted Heinlein too . . .In his 1961 novel Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert Heinlein makes passing mention of Tennessee’s enacting a law making pi equal to 3.0.

Please try not to use the master to defile science.


dmm1240 | September 29, 2017

Nexus, thanks for posting that. I had come to roughly the same conclusion but never formulated it that clearly in my thoughts.

So, let's talk the benefits.
1. They say they want to bring good jobs back to America. Isn't that what Tesla is doing? Elon Musk bought a broken down auto assembly plant no one wanted for $42 million. Look at it today, worth $8 billion employing somewhere around 10,000 people.
2. They say they want to make America great again as a manufacturer. Tesla is the first startup automaker to make it this far in more than half a century. Every car Tesla sells is stamped Made in the USA. They make most of the parts that go in their cars right here in the good ole USA. Tesla is completing a plant in Nevada that effectively doubles the world's output of lithium ion batteries. Thousands more manufacturing jobs created.
3. They say moving to renewables is too disruptive. Is it? Creative destruction is a basic tenet of capitalism. When you build something, just about anything, you create wealth somewhere. For every loser there is a winner. Who wins with electric cars? Case #1 — winner: power companies; loser: big oil. Right now they're contemplating the need to up electrical capacity to handle the requirements to charge electric cars. New companies are springing up to construct and manage charging stations outside the Tesla universe. Workers are being hired to build thousands of charging stalls across the globe. Even better, thanks to advances in solar and wind power generation, grids grow greener by the day. The Loser: big oil because we won't need the bulk of toxic products they produce much longer. Case #2 – Winner: Power Equipment Manufacturers; Loser: Traditional ICE Parts Manufacturers. Tesla builds its own Wall Mounts; other car companies and charging service providers will outsource that task to ancillary companies. The Loser: Companies that build fuel injectors, transmission parts, etc. It's true that there will be jobs lost in these areas, but isn't better, at a cheaper price, and simpler the ideal? You can go on and on, but the net result is new support industries will flourish while other older ones will fall by the wayside. Others, such as tire makers, will not notice a difference.
4. Customers' pocketbooks win. While it's true that electric cars at this stage of development are more expensive than comparable ICE cars, prices are starting to fall as the laws of mass production take hold. For example, Tesla recently announced a $3-$5,000 cut in prices for its top end electric cars. Batteries are getting cheaper, costs come down as they learn how to manufacture, the usual reasons. ICE cars, OTOH, continue to slowly creep up in price as has been true for decades. Electric cars, due to their simplicity, will soon become easier to manufacture. Fewer moving parts means lower maintenance cost. The obsoleting of ancillary products like oil and antifreeze make electric cars cheaper to maintain. Evidence is accumulating that electric cars will last far longer than ICE vehicles because battery longevity is even better than projected and there is simply less wear and tear on vehicles allowing them to last longer. Somewhere in the early to mid 2020's, electric cars will reach price parity with ICE cars, and from there prices will continue to fall while ICE cars will be unable to match it. At that point it is game over.
5. Electric cars are better. The Model S blew the doors off the argument that electric cars are nothing more than glorified golf carts with air conditioning. They are quick, handle extremely well, look great and just plain fun to drive.
6. People escaping Irma had an easier time of it evacuating because Tesla owners weren't the least bit concerned about the gasoline shortage as half of one of our most populous states fled a monster storm. Don't need it you don't worry about it.
7. We've worried about the geopolitical hazards of depending on imported oil for years. A substantial percentage of the world's oil reserves are in place where people aren't very nice (i.e. Saudi Arabia, Russia). We've been subjected to embargoes before to try and change America's politics (see OPEC in the 1970s). Being dependent on imported oil creates risk in a time of conflict because you have to defend your sea lanes to keep the oil flowing, which is expensive. Electric cars do away with that. What do we care what some tinpot dictator does in the Middle East if we don't need his freaking oil to economically survive. American foreign policy would be more honest and straightforward if we have a country that drives electric cars.

I could go on with several more #'s, but the point is this: The move to electric cars is disruptive to certain special interests. It is a boon to others. In the end, besides the planet, every person in this country wins when we transition to electric cars from ease of use to health concerns (fewer carcinogens spewed into the air) to price to just plain fun.

I drove a friend to a ball game last weekend who is -- make that was -- skeptical of electric cars. When I told him back in 2015 that I was strongly considering buying a Tesla he scoffed telling me I was crazy to consider buying a car that expensive. Last weekend, I pulled up in his driveway in my brand spanking new Model X. He and his wife went gaga over the technology. After the 150 mile round trip, he was sold. When I reminded him that he had roundly chastised me two years earlier for even thinking about buying a Tesla, he replied, "I didn't know much about them then. These things are great."

In this case, familiarity breeds like.

El Mirio | September 29, 2017

I like how Elon can bring it to the point quite simple.

"The greater the change to the chemical composition of the physical, chemical makeup of the oceans and atmosphere [due to increased carbon emissions], the greater the long-term effect will be.

"Given that at some point they'll run out anyway, why run this crazy experiment to see how bad it'll be? We know it's at least some bad, and the overwhelming scientific consensus is that it'll be really bad."e

El Mirio | September 29, 2017

I really like how Elon frames it, whatever one believes isn't relevant since experimenting with our only habitat is a dumb idea in the first place.

RedShift | September 29, 2017


"that organic produce is somehow healthier and better than the non-organic kind."

We had this discussion a year ago or whatever. I'd forgotten to mention this in my counter: organic produce contains less pesticides. Most organic produce decomposes twice as fast as non organic stuff in my own personal experience.

So, I humbly request you to reconsider your skepticism, if only on this matter.

Sorry if I derailed this a bit.

PrimeTime | September 29, 2017

Thanks @Nexxus! +1! Spot on.

rxlawdude | September 29, 2017

Not to go further into the weeds, but this statement of @dramsey bothers me: "Science denial is considered a conservative thing, but many progressives subscribe to the peculiar notion that gender isn't predicated by biology (I call such people "biology deniers"), but rather by personal choice; and that organic produce is somehow healthier and better than the non-organic kind."

Except for the fact that homosexual behavior is observed among multiple species in the animal world. We obviously can't ask what gender these animals identify with, but your back-handed rebuke of gender identification screams right-wing (religiously justified) orthodoxy.

rxlawdude | September 29, 2017

@Red, and old joke modified to the topic:

Q: What's worse than finding a worm in your organic apple?
A: Finding half a worm in your organic apple.

RedShift | September 29, 2017


Yeah, I don't drink protein smoothies. I eat organic apples. It's all good.

SCCRENDO | September 29, 2017

@dramsey. Scientists are skeptics. They wuestion findings, repeat studies, test contradictory hypothesies. Consensus conclusions are based on the balance of the best evidence. What deniers like yourself express is a denial based on scanty evidence with all other evidence ignored. The only “skepticism” is on a he conclusions not the science. In fact the only “science” ever used is a cherry picked fact that supports the point deniers are trying to make. Your argument that science is changing is a strength rather than a weakness, Science picks the best conclusions based on the data and when better data comes up conclusions can change. Contrast that to your denial. When deniers don’t approve of the conclusions instead of coming up with better science jthey just deny the science and stay with their own unsubstantiated gut feelings.

Mike83 | September 29, 2017

This little tidbit that fossil fuel companies sponser the climate change denial they want to tell the public.

joemar10 | September 29, 2017

I am a 72 year old White, Anglo-Saxon, Atheist. A WASA, if you will. I have been a tree hugger since before it was a term. Luckily I'm unencumbered by religious dogma, so I can follow my beliefs as I choose. When I go back to the dust I came from, I hope to leave the Earth not much worse than I found it.

Circa 1974 I scratch built a solar array to supply hot water on my roof. We recycle, we compost, we take reusable bags to all stores, we have 7KW of PV's on our home, I have been driving Priuses since 2003, we have geothermal heat/AC, I built my house with 2 x 6's for more room for better insulation, we just took delivery of our Model X and hope to be able to afford to follow through with our Model 3 reservation to get completely off of gas. All of my yard tools are either corded electric or battery electric and have been for over 19 years.

We do not live like cave people. We enjoy a good dinner out once in a while. My wife likes her wine, I like my scotch, and we both love a good brewpub. We live our lifestyle for moral and ethical reasons, not political or religious reasons. We realize that we are just two people, but if we can influence another two people to influence another two people etc. to do the right thing, maybe our planet will survive after all. I hope so, for our children, grandchildren's etc. sake.

SamO | September 29, 2017


You sound like the well-read, logical, empathic human I'd like to share a scotch with. Are you close to Southern California? If not . . . road trip :-)

joemar10 | September 29, 2017

Thanks for the kind words. Unfortunately I'm on the right coast, which happens to be the "wrong coast". My wife is retiring in January and we plan on taking a lot of road trips in our Model X. We know we're going to Vancouver next September and Southern California is not outside the realm of possibility. I plan on being on this forum a lot in the next few years. In the meantime if you get to Virginia, contact me.

cfleming34 | September 29, 2017

The worst thing that ever happened to the scientific understanding of climate was Al Gore. If a non-polarizing non-political figure had presented the relevant information it could have been debated on its technical merits.

Instead, the whole climate debate became a political football. Sides were frequently chosen based on political persuasion, as if this was an election, instead of a scientific debate.

Mike83 | September 29, 2017

Blame Al Gore. that's a laugh.

SamO | September 29, 2017

I'm from VA with family still there @joemar10 . . . drop me an email teslams60 at gmail client

teslu3 | September 29, 2017

Scientists are the real skeptics. Deniers are not at all skeptical about the fringe sources of their sciency beliefs.
The science is clear about global warming. So is nature. The issues are really about what to do about it. If you dont like cutting back on pollution, then don't admit your support of pollution but instead try to deny the problem.

Yet, by virtue of buying a Tesla you are part of the solution whether you like it or not. It's a welcome step in the right direction.

Remnant | September 30, 2017

@Nexxus (OP, September 29, 2017)

<< The Roots of Science Denial ... Climate change is real and we need to change things now. Time is running out. >>

You're the poster-child of the AGW hysteria and its Learning-Impaired mode of dealing with the problems of the Real World.

It's obvious you're not a scientist, but like to pontificate in the name of the AGW worshipers, impostors who have already infested our Forums with their fake news, moronic declamations, and fraudulent claims of climate change authority.

But it doesn't seem to be enough for you to be stupid, you want everyone to become a stupid fixture of your stupid world. You're a jester's nightmarish figment, launched as a ruse to derail common sense and logic.

You must cease and desist from these mindless activities and consult a mental health specialist, in order to embark on the road of rehabilitation as a human, rather than a zombie.

Yes, time is running out for your ilk. Mend or be gone ... !

And make your screeds shorter. Tell your Mom to keep you off the keyboard for a while.

SamO | September 30, 2017

Dr Carpet Scrap,

What's your PhD in? Derp and FUD ?

joemar10 | September 30, 2017

No one is paying you to read the long "screeds" on this forum. Or are they?

Mike83 | September 30, 2017

Fossil fuel industry is running the government even though most people know the facts.

Tesla-David | September 30, 2017

@cfleming34, your rant about Al Gore is a hoot, and worthless. The simple truth is that Al Gore was right to sound the alarm about AGW/Climate disruption, and his book "Earth in the Balance" was spot on correct in identifying the problem, and proposing solutions.

Tesla-David | September 30, 2017

This discussion by Stephen Chu (former DOE Secretary) should be of concern and scary to any rational person, we are currently at 490 ppm not 410 ppm in our atmospheric CO2. We have less time to act than we thought. The video clip is well worth watching.

Sabbia | September 30, 2017

Once again @Remnant ends an angre rant/screed with reference to "mother."

SamO | September 30, 2017

Maybe his nickname should be @mommyissues

SCCRENDO | September 30, 2017


And I quote you with some minor changes to the first 2 paragraphs. Like Trump you accuse others of carrying your very own characteristics. Examples would be “Drain the swamp”, “Lock her up”, and private email abuse
Here is your personal description, well written by yourself.

“You're the poster-child of the AGW denial and its Learning-Impaired mode of dealing with the problems of the Real World.

It's obvious you're not a scientist, but like to pontificate in the name of the science deniers, AGW deniers, evolution deniers, impostors who have already infested our Forums with their fake news, moronic declamations, and fraudulent claims of fact authority.

But it doesn't seem to be enough for you to be stupid, you want everyone to become a stupid fixture of your stupid world. You're a jester's nightmarish figment, launched as a ruse to derail common sense and logic.

You must cease and desist from these mindless activities and consult a mental health specialist, in order to embark on the road of rehabilitation as a human, rather than a zombie.

Yes, time is running out for your ilk. Mend or be gone ... !

And make your screeds shorter. Tell your Mom to keep you off the keyboard for a while.”

SCCRENDO | September 30, 2017

FYI. Here is the Merriam-Webster definition of a “remnant”

SCCRENDO | September 30, 2017

FYI. Here is the Merriam-Webster definition of a “remnant”

rxlawdude | September 30, 2017

@SCC, you've got to admit, the remnant is scrappy.

joemar10 | September 30, 2017

With a silent "s"?

rxlawdude | September 30, 2017

@joemar, :-)

leeramer | September 30, 2017

I saw Remnant had lost the argument by throwing a temper tantrum, quite amusing.
The deniers all at the same, they hate the fact that they are wrong. They never admit anything. True science believers are always accepting the fact when they are wrong. I check out links and look at alternate facts just to see maybe if I might be wrong, then the data keeps proving otherwise. Deniers don't even do that, hell they even post links on these forums showing the fact the planet is heating up and they think it's the opposite.It literally boggles my mind how some people really live in their own bubble.

SCCRENDO | September 30, 2017

The Remnant is truly an interesting piece of scrap. The sad part is there are enough of them around and that’s why we have Donald J Trump and the Republican congress. Unfortunately there is no cure for stupid.

NKYTA | September 30, 2017

"The point is that skepticism is always a good thing"

From Remnant. Everyone should be skeptical, but once the science is there, accept it.

On a previous thread I actually agreed with you on ARES, but it turns out pumped hydro is still a more efficient way of doing it still. I learned and moved on, because they fudged the numbers.

As for Heinlein refs, he basically predicted semi-ballistics. Should Heinlein get the credit for predicting them, or Elon for actually likely doing it?

SamO | October 1, 2017


Heinlein should definitely get credit. But Elon is DD Harriman. I hope he gets to die on Mars, just not on impact. Just like DD.

Check out Elon receiving the Heinlein Prize in 2011 (and Lady Vivamus) for Accomplishments in Space Activities

Sabbia | October 1, 2017

@joemar @rxlaw. :)

Sabbia | October 1, 2017

As to Heinlein, and by consequence Asimov, where is Hari Seldon when we need him?

SamO | October 1, 2017

BTW . . . DD Harriman died on the moon, of old age.

An Even more interesting article in the USAToday (shock ;-) I don't agree with some of the articles, but it informs how things like science denial happen.

"The Crazy Years, in Heinlein’s timeline, was when rapid changes in technology, together with the disruption those changes caused in mores and economics, caused society to, well, go crazy. They ran from the last couple of decades of the 20th Century into the first couple of decades of the 21st."

“Craziness can be measured by maladaptive behavior. The behavior the society uses to solve one kind of problem, when applied to an incorrect category, disorients it. When this happens the whole society, even if some members are aware of the disorientation, cannot reach the correct conclusion, or react in a fashion that preserves society from harm. As if society were a dolphin that called itself a fish: when it suffered the sensation of drowning, it would dive. But a dolphin is a mammal, a member of a different category of being. When dolphins are low on air, they surface, rather than dive. Putting yourself in the wrong category leads to the wrong behavior.”

I like this take a bit more:

"While Heinlein (as far as I know) supplied no rationale for the advent and the recession of the craziness in the Crazy Years, A. E. van Vogt was freer with is speculations: insanity, either of individuals or of peoples, in van Vogt’s stories (and perhaps in the theories of I. B. Korzybski, who discovered or invented General Semantics) is caused by a fracture or disjunction between symbol and object. When your thought and the thing about which you think do not match up on a cognitive level, that is a falsehood, a false belief. When the emotions associated with the thought do not match to the thing about which you think, that is a false-to-facts association, which can range from merely a mistake to neurosis to psychosis, depending on the severity of the disjunction. You are crazy. If you hate your sister because she reminds you of your mother who beat you, that association is false-to-facts, neurotic. If you hate your sister because you have hallucinated that you are Cinderella, that association is falser-to-facts, more removed from reality, possibly psychotic.

The great and dire events of the early Twentieth Century no doubt confirmed Korzybski in the rightness of this theory. Nothing prevents a race of people from contracting and fomenting a false-to-facts belief: the fantasies of the Nazi Germans, pseudo-biology and pseudo-economics combined with the romance of neo-paganism, stirred the psyche of the German people for quite understandable reasons. From the point of view of General Semantics, the Germans had divorced their symbols from reality, they mistook metaphors for truth, and their emotions adapted to and reinforced the prevailing narrative. They told themselves stories about Wotan and the Blood, about being betrayed during the Great War, about needing room to live, about the wickedness of Jewish bankers and shopkeepers, about the origin of the wealth of nations—and they went craz"

And this really gets to the bottom:

"When he hits the description of the Crazy years – you know, kids striking for less homework, more pay (for going to school) and eating clay sandwiches and such, I thought “Brother, you didn’t know from crazy.”

Part of his explanation – built into his world building – was that the crazy years were brought on by population pressures. One must give the man one strike, and that’s a big one, but it’s one he shared with every scientist of his time. At least he seemed to have a clue what really was at the bottom of it. “Semantic confusion.” Semantic confusion is a big big issue, and it is what is at the bottom of our own insanity. Heinlein believed that semantics would become an exact science. Since he based his beliefs on the scientific magazines of his time, I’m going to assume there was research into this. But it seems to have come to nothing. Or did it? Was this one of those sciences that was never published? One of those things that were considered too dangerous for people to know?

Tesla-David | October 1, 2017

@Mike83, thanks for your 9/29 link on fossil fuel deception, very informative. Also this: "more than half of all industrial carbon emissions have been released into the atmosphere since 1988" makes me so mad. I agree with the "Make them pay" conclusion. I hope the AG's working on exposing Exxon-Mobile lies and deceptions as well as others are finally brought to heel and that they are made to pay for the harm they have done.

PrimeTime | October 1, 2017

Thanks Sam.

Nexxus | October 2, 2017

@Mike83, @SCCRENDO, et al,

Thanks for the kind remarks. Glad to do my part to make this a greener world. We've been net positive on the grid for 7 years now and use all electric gizmos for yard work and such. We can all do our part, even the deniers, by getting EV's, but as you said, "You can't fix stupid!"

Mike83 | October 2, 2017

Here is something that is not wise and that is the US Chamber of Commerce which I will not support.

The misleading views are indeed harmful to all Americans. They need a change of leadership in these reckless powerful policies.

SamO | October 2, 2017

I chose not to join the Chamber of Commerce for any of my companies (and withdrew where we were already members). They are a front for fossil fuel barons.