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2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #45

Posted on 11 November 2017 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook page during the past week. 

Editor's Pick

Conservatives probably can’t be persuaded on climate change. So now what?

One more round of “messaging” won’t do it.

Mapping Climate Change Hot Spots 

When it comes to climate change, US conservatives inhabit a unique position, as part of the only major political party in the democratic world to reject the legitimacy of climate science and any domestic policy or international agreement meant to address it. Instead, the GOP is working actively to increase production and consumption of fossil fuels and to slow the transition to renewable energy.

How can conservatives be moved on climate change?

I recently heard a podcast that helped me order my thoughts on this perennial debate. It was Political Research Digest, a weekly 15-minute research round-up hosted by Michigan State University political scientist Matt Grossman for the Niskanen Center. (Grossman is the author of Asymmetric Politics, a crucial text for understanding American political parties. The podcast is nerdy and good.)

In the third episode, Grossman takes a look at some recent literature on climate change opinion and how, if at all, it can be shifted among conservatives.

It begins well, with an excellent lay of the land. But the discussion of how to move forward goes off course, in a very familiar way. It stops short of contemplating the uncomfortable but increasingly likely possibility that persuading conservatives on this subject has become impossible, and what that might mean for those concerned about the looming dangers of climate change.

Let’s start with a look a few basic facts about public opinion on climate.

Conservatives probably can’t be persuaded on climate change. So now what? by David Roberts, Energy & Environment, Vox, Nov 10, 2017  

Links posted on Facebook

Sun Nov 5, 2017

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Comments 1 to 7:

  1. Debate and discussion should mostly be polite and reasoned, but there are a few times when a strong, aggressive response is required. Otherwise you get walked all over.

    “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”. Attributed to Einstein.

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  2. Using the term Conservative is a part of the problem.

    The people who are not Open Minded cannot learn new understanding. No matter what amount of Good Reason is developed a close-minded person will not learn.

    It is possible that there is a higher percentage of close-minded people in the Right-Conservative catorgory, but Conservative is not the proper label for the trouble-makers.

    To pin down the trouble-makers, I have had some success by declaring that the Desired Objective of human activity is developing lasting improvements for all of humanity - eternally into the future. We are fortunate to have the potential to have humanity fit in as a part of the perpetual motion machine for life that this amazing planet can be.

    Anyone close-minded who is locked into beliefs that are contrary to developing lasting improvements for all of humanity can only be perceived as a threat to the pursuit of those Good Reasonable Objectives And the best developed presentation of those Good Reasonable Objectives are the Sustainable Development Goals. And anyone who sees merit in achieving any of the identified SDGs should be Open to understanding the importance of achieving all of them. And that can develop a common sense understanding of the Good Reasons to identify specific individuals as threats who should be treated as threats unless they can prove they have changed their minds.

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  3. I know a chap that was at a climate change conference in which a prominent politician dissed the whole notion.  By a strange co-incidence, they sat beside each other on the plane back home.  This chap brought the conversation around to climate change and the politician agreed with him that it is a serious problem.  We are pushing the wrong buttons.  The core problem; the one ring that controls them all is money in politics.  If we sorted this problem out, all the others would be possible.  If we don't we are like the Greek that had to push the rock up hill only to see it roll back to the bottom every time.

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  4. william@3: Years ago I wrote a letter to the editor of my local paper, in which I lamented the 'sisyphean task of the climate denier', whose carefully constructed evidence against global warming is doomed repeatedly to collapse against the weight of the physical evidence.  I must admit, in recent years I've begun to feel like the sisyphus I was picturing in others.  Money can hide us from our interests, our families, even ourselves.  But, ultimately it can't hide us from Physics.

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  5. william@3,

    The problem is 'the pursuit of personal interests that are contrary to the public interest'.

    The public interest is the development of lasting improvement for all of humanity (everyone today and 'all' the future generations).

    Money in politics can be in the Public Interest. So the problem isn't money in politics.

    The problem is that people can get away with actions that can be objectively understood to be detrimental to the Public Interest.

    Misleading marketing is a major part of the problem. However, misleading marketing that achieves the Public Interest would be Good. But I personally prefer actions to properly educate the masses, especially requiring all the richest to prove that that is what they do if they want to keep their wealth.

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  6. Can someone point me to any  articles that says what is likely to happen if the world continues pretty much the same with the US not changing its stance appreciably?  Something like ice caps will melt in year 20xx, etc.

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  7. ranger001: Check out:

    COP23 video: Does Donald Trump make limiting global warming to 1.5C impossible? by Leo Hickman & Jocelyn Timperley, Carbon Brief, Nov 15, 2017

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