Psychological 'vaccine' could help immunize public against 'fake news' on climate change

January 23, 2017
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

In medicine, vaccinating against a virus involves exposing a body to a weakened version of the threat, enough to build a tolerance.

Social psychologists believe that a similar logic can be applied to help "inoculate" the public against misinformation, including the damaging influence of 'fake news' websites propagating myths about climate change.

A new study compared reactions to a well-known climate change fact with those to a popular misinformation campaign. When presented consecutively, the false material completely cancelled out the accurate statement in people's minds - opinions ended up back where they started.

Researchers then added a small dose of misinformation to delivery of the climate change fact, by briefly introducing people to distortion tactics used by certain groups. This "inoculation" helped shift and hold opinions closer to the truth - despite the follow-up exposure to 'fake news'.

The study on US attitudes found the inoculation technique shifted the climate change opinions of Republicans, Independents and Democrats alike.

Published in the journal Global Challenges, the study was conducted by researchers from the universities of Cambridge, UK, Yale and George Mason, US. It is one of the first on 'inoculation theory' to try and replicate a 'real world' scenario of conflicting information on a highly politicised subject.

"Misinformation can be sticky, spreading and replicating like a virus," says lead author Dr Sander van der Linden, a social psychologist from the University of Cambridge and Director of the Cambridge Social Decision-Making Lab.

"We wanted to see if we could find a 'vaccine' by pre-emptively exposing people to a small amount of the type of misinformation they might experience. A warning that helps preserve the facts.

"The idea is to provide a cognitive repertoire that helps build up resistance to misinformation, so the next time people come across it they are less susceptible."

To find the most compelling climate change falsehood currently influencing public opinion, van der Linden and colleagues tested popular statements from corners of the internet on a nationally representative sample of US citizens, with each one rated for familiarity and persuasiveness.

The winner: the assertion that there is no consensus among scientists, apparently supported by the Oregon Global Warming Petition Project. This website claims to hold a petition signed by "over 31,000 American scientists" stating there is no evidence that human CO2 release will cause climate change.

The study also used the accurate statement that "97% of scientists agree on manmade climate change". Prior work by van der Linden has shown this fact about is an effective 'gateway' for public acceptance of climate change.

In a disguised experiment, researchers tested the opposing statements on over 2,000 participants across the US spectrum of age, education, gender and politics using the online platform Amazon Mechanical Turk.

In order to gauge shifts in opinion, each participant was asked to estimate current levels of scientific agreement on climate change throughout the study.

Those shown only the fact about climate change consensus (in pie chart form) reported a large increase in perceived scientific agreement - an average of 20 percentage points. Those shown only misinformation (a screenshot of the Oregon petition website) dropped their belief in a scientific consensus by 9 percentage points.

Some participants were shown the accurate pie chart followed by the erroneous Oregon petition. The researchers were surprised to find the two neutralised each other (a tiny difference of 0.5 percentage points).

"It's uncomfortable to think that misinformation is so potent in our society," says van der Linden. "A lot of people's attitudes toward aren't very firm. They are aware there is a debate going on, but aren't necessarily sure what to believe. Conflicting messages can leave them feeling back at square one."

Alongside the consensus fact, two groups in the study were randomly given 'vaccines':

  • A general inoculation, consisting of a warning that "some politically-motivated groups use misleading tactics to try and convince the public that there is a lot of disagreement among scientists".
  • A detailed inoculation that picks apart the Oregon petition specifically. For example, by highlighting some of the signatories are fraudulent, such as Charles Darwin and members of the Spice Girls, and less than 1% of signatories have backgrounds in climate science.

For those 'inoculated' with this extra data, the that followed did not cancel out the accurate message.

The general inoculation saw an average opinion shift of 6.5 percentage points towards acceptance of the climate science consensus, despite exposure to fake news.

When the detailed inoculation was added to the general, it was almost 13 percentage points - two-thirds of the effect seen when participants were just given the consensus fact.

The research team point out that tobacco and fossil fuel companies have used psychological inoculation in the past to sow seeds of doubt, and to undermine scientific consensus in the public consciousness.

They say the latest study demonstrates that such techniques can be partially "reversed" to promote scientific consensus, and work in favour of the public good.

The researchers also analysed the results in terms of political parties. Before inoculation, the fake negated the factual for both Democrats and Independents. For Republicans, the fake actually overrode the facts by 9 percentage points.

However, following inoculation, the positive effects of the accurate information were preserved across all parties to match the average findings (around a third with just general inoculation; two-thirds with detailed).

"We found that inoculation messages were equally effective in shifting the opinions of Republicans, Independents and Democrats in a direction consistent with the conclusions of climate science," says van der Linden.

"What's striking is that, on average, we found no backfire effect to inoculation messages among groups predisposed to reject , they didn't seem to retreat into conspiracy theories.

"There will always be people completely resistant to change, but we tend to find there is room for most people to change their minds, even just a little."

Explore further: Communicating the consensus on climate change

More information: Global Challenges, DOI: 10.1002/gch2.201600008

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dogbert
3.1 / 5 (13) Jan 23, 2017
Another article on how to sell a scientific opinion. Not how to publicize scientific findings, but how to sell an opinion. The study chose to sell consensus opinion on climate change.

Science is not a democratic process where the greater number of votes wins. The claim that 97% of scientists agree on man made climate change is itself a factoid which was constructed to sell an opinion.

When scientists spend their time selling an opinion and agonizing over public opinion polls, they are not being scientists, they are being salesmen.
antialias_physorg
4.2 / 5 (10) Jan 23, 2017
Another article on how to sell a scientific opinion.

Fact. They're trying to show how to sell facts VERSUS (fake) opinions. Read the article.
This isn't about any particular subject (no, it's also not about climate change)

Science is not a democratic process where the greater number of votes wins.

This does not mean that the minority is always right. In a battle of opinions that may be an argument, but in a battle of facts vs opinion, where 97% support the facts vs. 3% who support only opinion facts win out.


When scientists spend their time selling an opinion and agonizing over public opinion polls,

While science isn't a democratic process, politics is. And politics is determined by (largely uneducated) voters. So it is in the interest of everyone to get some education to them. Only an educated public can make good decisions.
Eikka
3.3 / 5 (7) Jan 23, 2017
Fact. They're trying to show how to sell facts


You're not seeing the main point: the 97% consensus argument is meaningless in itself, because it doesn't say what exactly they agree with. That's why it's propaganda. The "consensus" among the researchers on a very narrowly defined question doesn't help us know anything about the main matter.

What do you mean by "man made climate change" is an entirely different question alltogether, and while 97% agree to the consensus question, the opinions for what is actually going on - the extent and the mechanism of action - can vary tremendously.

For example, from time to time pops up an argument that man-made CFC gasses are responsible and not CO2. Well, that goes into the same 97% to support somebody else's version of climate change. The consensus argument is assimilating even the pseudoscience and the failed theories to support the cause.
Eikka
3 / 5 (6) Jan 23, 2017
Or to explain it in another way:

The 97% consensus argument is dangerously close to arguing on the lines of, "Look, atheists, youre in the minority - almost everyone agree God exists; we just don't agree on which God."

Point being, are you really in agreement if you're betting on a different one?
aksdad
2.3 / 5 (6) Jan 23, 2017
More fake news from the climate cabal trying to gin up interest in global warming...er...climate change.

'You people aren't infected by our sciencey-sounding opinions...er..."facts"? We know how to inoculate you against logic so you'll become a believer too. C'mon, just believe us. We're smarter than you so you gotta believe. And 97% of the most infected...er...smartest of us believe so you should too. Just trust our math; 77 of the 79 most infected is 97%. Just ignore the hundreds of other scientists we surveyed. We did. That's how we got 97%. Still don't believe? We even have sociological studies to prove you should be convinced by our superior powers of persuasion. Don't look at the data yourself. Just. Believe. Us. We know what's best for you. Please, please, please, pretty please.'

Apparently their magical powers aren't working because "action on climate change" ranks dead last among priorities in a worldwide survey:

http://data.myworld2015.org/
dogbert
3 / 5 (10) Jan 23, 2017
Eikka,
You're not seeing the main point: the 97% consensus argument is meaningless in itself, because it doesn't say what exactly they agree with.


In this article, the claim was that 97% of scientists agree on man made climate change. Sometimes it is 97% of scientists agree on climate change. Sometimes it is 97% of climate scientists agree on climate change.

The 97% is just a made up figure, a factoid, that is supposed to be accepted because it is repeated over and over. It is unlikely that 97% of any group of people agree on anything at all.

This is all about selling the agenda.
Broadlands
2 / 5 (4) Jan 23, 2017
Fake News???

"Fake News"? NASA/GISS reported in January 1996 that the global temperature had reached 58.7°F, one degree below 1990's 59.8°F.

http://www.nytime...mes.html

Two years later in 1997 NOAA reported that the globe had reached 62.45*F

https://www.ncdc....l/199713
JWCarlotti
2 / 5 (8) Jan 23, 2017
In my experience, the "97%" figure is quite doubtful. There is far too much fraud happening to simply accept such a figure. If you use any decent search engine, and look for "research fraud" (no quotemarks needed), literally hundreds of results come up of specific examples of research fraud in the academic and scientific communities.
I work in a consulting firm that specializes in advanced technology. We have clients in many nations. Speaking with the various engineering and R&D teams, the level of belief in human-caused climate change is maybe 40% among them. Granted, they are not "climate scientists", but they're all very well educated and intelligent. It strikes me as quite odd that a figure as high as 97% is so often quoted, when the average among a very broad range of high-level individuals from over 15 nations is vastly lower, and quite similar from group to group.
JWCarlotti
2.1 / 5 (7) Jan 23, 2017
Forgot to mention in previous comment; there is not doubt about the changing climate, among the people I mentioned. Rather, the doubt is that the change is primarily due to human activity.
antigoracle
2.3 / 5 (9) Jan 23, 2017
LOL.
All news on the Fake Science aka Climate Change "science", is fake. The only vaccine, is one that would spontaneously result in the ignorant Chicken Littles growing a brain. As reality continues to defy the AGW Cult's desire for doom and gloom, they are still desperately trying for full religion status before their deception catches up to them.
antialias_physorg
3.4 / 5 (10) Jan 23, 2017
In my experience, the "97%" figure is quite doubtful.

What 'experience'? You don't know a single climate scientist.

The point is that 97% of the people who know what they are talking about agree
Who cares about what laymen think? Do you go to a doctor and then ask 10 people in your alcoholics anonymous group whether they think the doctor's diagnosis is correct?

(And you must confer with a lot of other engineers than me - because I haven't yet met a single one that doubts climate science. But again: so what?)
EricHa
3.2 / 5 (9) Jan 23, 2017
If believing in climate change is a prerequisite for being a climate scientist, as is the case, then why should we be surprised that the overwhelming majority of climate scientists do just that?

To understand my point better, think of this example:

Claim 1: No one knows more about bigfoot than bigfoot experts.

Claim 2: 98% of bigfoot experts believe in bigfoot.

Conclusion: Since 98% of the people who know the most about bigfoot agree bigfoot is real, bigfoot is definitely real. The thoughts and opinions of bigfoot non-experts are irrelevant; they're ignorant bigfoot denialists.

This is, essentially, the same line of reasoning that the climate change defender uses.

Now do you see the flaw?

http://rightsmart...science/
petersonwalter
2.1 / 5 (7) Jan 23, 2017
SO, scientific truth has become a matter of consensus? Wasn't that the outlook that prevailed in the Middle Ages? See: Galileo.
antialias_physorg
3.4 / 5 (5) Jan 23, 2017
If believing in climate change is a prerequisite for being a climate scientist

Luckily it isn't. The whole POINT of being a scientist is that you leave 'belief' at the door. If you can't do that you'll never become one.

bigfoot experts

Since bigfoot experts make proclamations without any evidence they're not scientists.

Note that climate scientists do have (copious amounts of) evidence. On evidence you can build an informed(!) opinion. An informed opinion is not the same thing as a belief. a belief is an uninformed(!) opinion.


Now do you see the flaw?

I see nothing but flaws in your argument. Maybe you should try to (re)learn how to argue?

SO, scientific truth has become a matter of consensus?

No scientific truth is based on evidence. But when 97% of climate scientists *independently based on the stuff they research* come to the same conclusions then that's pretty strong indication that there's something there.
rderkis
3.4 / 5 (5) Jan 23, 2017
It seems like this piece is really about manipulating the way people think.
I personally think if just the facts were presented by a journalist we could actually trust, that would go a long way towards eliminating false news stories.
But with the journalists now days just spreading rumors, innuendos and half truths, who knows what to believe?
khermerker
1 / 5 (2) Jan 23, 2017
well EricHa is right in the start of "f believing in climate change is a prerequisite for being a climate scientist" then is natural that all climate scientist agree with the statment

Exist the climate change.

Now that statment is false, and then her point with those 2 claims dont support her conclusion cause it need (as in logic) a third statment that is something like

claim 3: If you are an expert then all that is not an expert, and don't agree with you are wrong.

We accept that 3 seems a right statment (if you are sick, you go to a doctor) cause they are an expert and if other non expert tell me anything different i will do good in not believe it. so, what is the condition for be an expert?

For be a climate scientis is not the premise that she put.. is more about his studies, based in those studies the community get a consensus.. is not necessary that all agree . but we do good believing what most of them believe.
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Jan 23, 2017
Who is going to take care of Comey and the politicized FBI?

I watched the DOJ lie and cheat when I worked for them as Deputy Foreperson on a Federal Criminal Grand Jury.
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Jan 23, 2017
"It seems like this piece is really about manipulating the way people think."
-----------------------------------

How many folk attended the inauguration?
ab3a
2 / 5 (4) Jan 23, 2017
The big clue that you're not being dealt a full deck here is that they use the term "fake news." Unless you're reading an article originally written by parody web sites such as The Onion it's probably not fake. Inaccurate? Yes. Fake? --What does that even mean?

The whole notion of Fake News is that it implies there is something called "Real News." The notion that there is "Fake News" might then make people seek out news sources such as "Pravda" (the Russian word for Truth).

Nope. No agenda to see there, folks. This is pure marketing. Put on your hip waders and move along.
gkam
1.7 / 5 (6) Jan 23, 2017
Fake news is the stuff Breitbart printed from the GRU/FSB.

A combined federal investigation is going on right now into the possible mole/Russian agent in the Trump Team.
rodkeh
2.5 / 5 (8) Jan 23, 2017
When scientists spend their time selling an opinion and agonizing over public opinion polls, they are not being scientists, they are being salesmen.


Amen to that brother!

The Arctic is warming and the Antarctic is cooling, while the rest of the planet is either about normal or cooler.

This isn't "Global" anything! this is regional warming, which is weather not climate and weather is expected to change and is no reason for concern.

AGW is a Farce and a Lie and climate scientists are frauds.
EricHa
1.6 / 5 (7) Jan 23, 2017

If believing in climate change is a prerequisite for being a climate scientist

Luckily it isn't. The whole POINT of being a scientist is that you leave 'belief' at the door. If you can't do that you'll never become one.

I will agree with your statement however when it comes to "climate science" that is far from the case. Any correlation no matter how tenuous is regarded as causation or "proof".


bigfoot experts

Since bigfoot experts make proclamations without any evidence they're not scientists.

Note that climate scientists do have (copious amounts of) evidence. On evidence you can build an informed(!) opinion. An informed opinion is not the same thing as a belief. a belief is an uninformed(!) opinion.

Oh but bigfoot experts have lots of "evidence". Blurry photos/videos, strange footprints, fur. All of them dubious, fake or bad "science". A bit like "climate science".
Cont...
EricHa
2.1 / 5 (7) Jan 23, 2017


Now do you see the flaw?


I see nothing but flaws in your argument. Maybe you should try to (re)learn how to argue?

You don't have an argument. Maybe you should learn how to argue.


SO, scientific truth has become a matter of consensus?


No scientific truth is based on evidence. But when 97% of climate scientists *independently based on the stuff they research* come to the same conclusions then that's pretty strong indication that there's something there.

Unfortunately anyone that uses the "97% of climate scientists come to the same conclusions" has already lost the argument. It is argumentum ad verecundiam or argumentum ad ignorantiam. It is like turning up to a gunfight with a conker on a string. It is pathetic.
antialias_physorg
4 / 5 (8) Jan 23, 2017
There's confusion between the terms 'consensus' and 'vote', here.

A vote is this: You go into a room with 100 doctors and say "I feel a lump on my testicles ". Without further actions 97 doctors say "that is cancer" and 3 say "I don't know if it's cancer. might be something else, too"

Consensus is this: You go to 100 doctors in sequence with a lump on your testicle. Each doctor makes the full range of tests. 97 of these doctors come back to you with "It tests positive for cancer, you should start treatment". 3 come back to you with "The tests were inconclusive - we need more tests"

Most people would go to one doctor and then start treatment. Some would get a second opinion and then start treatment. A really, really paranoid person might visit a third doctor.

What the deniers are basically saying is that they would visit, on average, 33 doctors until they get a diagnosis they like. That's really the kind of mindset we're debating here.

That's just completely insane.
gkam
1.7 / 5 (6) Jan 23, 2017
"You don't have an argument. Maybe you should learn how to argue."
-----------------------------

No, EricHa, maybe you should learn about the environment.
rodkeh
1.7 / 5 (6) Jan 23, 2017
(And you must confer with a lot of other engineers than me - because I haven't yet met a single one that doubts climate science. But again: so what?)


There is no such thing as climate science! AGW is a fraud and a farce. You obviously are another uneducated, ignorant American, like your new president mentioned in his inaugural address. Or are you trying to be another poster child for the Pew Center's, Scientifically Illiterate Americans.
gkam
1 / 5 (4) Jan 23, 2017
"You obviously are another uneducated, ignorant, . . . "
--------------------------------------

Screaming at the mirror never solved anything.

I earned a Master of Science in an associated field. Does that count? How did you get your opinion?
antigoracle
1.7 / 5 (6) Jan 23, 2017
There's confusion between the terms 'consensus' and 'vote', here.

A vote is this: You go into a room with 100 doctors and say "I feel a lump on my testicles ". Without further actions 97 doctors say "that is cancer" and 3 say "I don't know if it's cancer. might be something else, too"

Consensus is this: You go to 100 doctors in sequence with a lump on your testicle. Each doctor makes the full range of tests. 97 of these doctors come back to you with "It tests positive for cancer, you should start treatment". 3 come back to you with "The tests were inconclusive - we need more tests"

Most people would go to one doctor and then start treatment. Some would get a second opinion and then start treatment. A really, really paranoid person might visit a third doctor.

What the deniers are basically saying is that they would visit, on average, 33 doctors until they get a diagnosis they like.

And, this is the story of how AP stupidly got neutered.
rodkeh
2.6 / 5 (5) Jan 23, 2017
There's confusion between the terms 'consensus' and 'vote', here.

A vote is this
Consensus is this:
That's really the kind of mindset we're debating here.

That's just completely insane.


There is no confusion!

'Consensus' and 'vote' are "meaningless" and "irrelevant."
rodkeh
1.8 / 5 (5) Jan 23, 2017
Screaming at the mirror never solved anything.

I earned a Master of Science in an associated field. Does that count? How did you get your opinion?


I'm not American!

Only an idiot relies on opinion!

Having a Master of Science in Astrology, does not actually make it, a "science" however, it would be an associated field.
EricHa
1.8 / 5 (5) Jan 23, 2017
There's confusion between the terms 'consensus' and 'vote', here.
...
That's just completely insane.


Unfortunately that is an Argumentum a fortiori
Here is another

You go to a medical conference. Worried about a lump on your testicle you get up on the stage, lob out your wedding tackle and ask the 7000 medicos attending for an opinion.

The sports medicos assert that it is obviously inguinal hernia.
The holistic yoga medicos assert that it is obviously testicular torsion.
The family physicians assert that it is obviously epididymo-orchitis casused by an STI.
The dermatologists assert that it is obviously a cyst.
The pediatricians assert that it is obviously a late case of hydroceles.
The urologists assert that it is obviously varicoceles.
The oncologists assert that it is obviously some sort of tumour.

Cont...
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (6) Jan 23, 2017
I earned a Master of Science in an associated field. Does that count?
No of course it doesnt count.

Regulars here know that george kamburoff crapped out of 3 universities and never got an undergrad degree. Decades later, after crapping out of 12-14 jobs, and after the advent of HR departments meant that he could never bullshit his way into another job he was unqualified for again, he discovered a local school that was offering honorary MS degrees for 'life experiences'.

George sent a little popsci-quality essay on a cow farm and a check, and got back a nice 8x10, suitable for framing. No coursework, tests, etc.

He actually sent a copy of his submittal (sans critique for obvious reasons) to people here, as well as repeatedly revealing his lack of knowledge on rudimentary engg and govt regs time and again.

What kind of person would think he could get away with this sort of incredible stupidity on a site full of degreed engrs?

An incompetent psychopath would.
EricHa
1.7 / 5 (6) Jan 23, 2017
Only 100 oncologists are at the conference
Most testicular lumps and swellings are caused by benign (non-cancerous) conditions, although occasionally they can be a symptom of testicular cancer.

In the paper the next day it is reported that some perp called antialias_physorg exposed himself at a medical conference. 97% of oncologists assert that he has cancer of his testicle. Of the 97%, 50% recommend that his testicle is removed. 40% recommend that both testicles are removed. 7% recommend that both testicles and his love truncheon are removed just to be on the safe side. 3% recommend that all of his wedding tackle and his left leg are removed as if something isn't done he will die.
The day after there is an outcry and demands for antialias_physorg to be taken into hospital and operated on for his own good.
Remember Most testicular lumps and swellings are caused by benign (non-cancerous) conditions, although occasionally they can be a symptom of testicular cancer.
snoosebaum
2.1 / 5 (7) Jan 23, 2017
experts in brainwashing now WTF ! well at least they r open about it
antigoracle
2 / 5 (8) Jan 23, 2017
The day after there is an outcry and demands for antialias_physorg to be taken into hospital and operated on for his own good.

And, in the operating room, the surgeon was heard screaming --- "NURSE I TOLD YOU TO PRICK HIS BOIL, NOT THE REVERSE"
snoosebaum
3 / 5 (2) Jan 23, 2017
so how does this confusing the sheeple work ? add some bs to your truth or add some truth to your bs ?
dan42day
1 / 5 (3) Jan 23, 2017
experts in brainwashing now WTF ! well at least they r open about it


Ahem, snoosebaum, we don't call it "brainwashing" anymore, now it's "inoculation". Didn't you get an updated newspeak card in the mail?
Captain Stumpy
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 24, 2017
You go to a medical conference. ... lob out your wedding tackle and ask the 7000 medicos attending for an opinion.

The sports medicos ...
@EricHa
whereas this may well be a great set up for a humourous look at medicine, it's also blatantly false:
medical protocols have a standard series of tests and physical checks that must be adhered to and followed, regardless of your field of specialty

now, that is not to say that all DR's will give the exact same answer, but it utilises the process of elimination and tests built upon experience and validated research

and if you have an MD then you learn this process regardless of your specialty

the reason is simple, and it is also the same regarding climate change (or science in general): it's a studied topic and there are a finite number of possible answers because the bulk of the studies prior to the situation narrowed the focus to a small set of validated valid answers
Eikka
1 / 5 (4) Jan 24, 2017
medical protocols have a standard series of tests and physical checks that must be adhered to and followed


Which are time-tested to work before you even go out there, so you can trust the doctors to know their business. Climate science isn't. That's the point. There's no, "Oh I've seen a thousand cases of Man made climate change, it's definitely because of... and there's this test to prove it's not ..."

There's none of that. Climate science isn't based on repeated empirical experiment - it's a whole bunch of people speculating upon trends which contain known and unknown errors of recording and interpretation and manipulation. Whenever you make a new prediction, it isn't falsifiable until 30 years later when it's been going on long enough to be called a trend, but if we act on the prediction, that changes the outcome and we don't know whether it was true.

So we're being asked to cut off our balls because 97% of fortune tellers say so.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (6) Jan 24, 2017
EricHa:

and in all your story it would be a vote. I.e. completely meaningless. But that is not what we are dealing with in climate science. The scientists came to their conclusions independently.

One looked at satellite data, another looked at ice cores, another looked at tree rings, another looked at deep ocean data, another looked at land warming, another plugged the physics of gasses into a simulation that has been validated against experiment.

The list goes on and on.

And each one noticed that it correlated with the start of dumping CO2 into the atmosphere and not with any natural variability known.

Natural variability is much, MUCH smaller over the timescales measured...again something we know from deeper ice record and even tree ring data.

https://xkcd.com/1732/
mbee1
1 / 5 (2) Jan 24, 2017
This is ;pure propaganda. You do not label the headline as they did unless you are trying to sell something. all they did was make sure their opinion was sold to the peons.
Eikka
1 / 5 (4) Jan 24, 2017
The scientists came to their conclusions independently.


Without running their own experiments, because they're all looking at datasets from the same few guys. That doesn't have the same value of independent discovery - it's the same discovery with multiple commmentators, each with a slightly different idea of what it imeans.

It's as if you had 100 doctors, 5 of them run a limited set of tests, and 95 of them try to decide what it is based on the data without running -any- additional tests. Meanwhile outside on the street there's a mob picketing with "97% of the doctors agree! Bob Has a Lump! Cut it Off!"

You see the question of "man made climate change" re. the cancer lump question isn't even about whether it is cancer, but whether "something's going on". It's just that. The consesus argument doesn't ask whether it's cancer but whether it's a lump, and then the commentators - not the doctors - decide that because there is a lump then it must be cancer.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (2) Jan 24, 2017
Climate science isn't
@eikka
uhm... whut?

so you're saying that the known laws of thermodynamics, physics (etc) and the validated studies that underpin climate science is somehow wrong?
well then... should be easy enough for you to provide evidence
Climate science isn't based on repeated empirical experiment
ok, tell you what
if it's nonsense it should be easily proven false with "empirical experiment", as you put it...

so, why isn't it?

we really can tell the difference between man made sources of carbon and natural sources, you know...
So we're being asked to cut off our balls because 97% of fortune tellers say so
and that is called delusional conspiracist ideation

you're being asked to recognize the validated science and nothing more

if it aint valid then utilise the scientific method to prove it as such

it aint rocket surgery
so many deniers make the claim that it's not valid science like you just did while never giving proof - just opinion
Eikka
2 / 5 (4) Jan 24, 2017
The whole fallacy of the 97% argument is to assume that "AGW" is one thing instead of a multitude of different, sometimes contradicting opinions over a common data set.

That's what's being sold to the public. A commentator, a politician, an activist group, someone looking to get elected or funded or just for publicity and money, makes up his version of what AGW means and then points to the scientific community and says "look, 97% of these guys agree that cimate change is real."

What he leaves out is that his climate change isn't necessarily real.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (3) Jan 24, 2017
@eikka cont'd
because they're all looking at datasets from the same few guys
right
gotcha

the entire world uses the same data sets from the same "few guys"...
and your source or validation for this claim is?

backing up a minute... you've made better arguments elsewhere, so why the blatant and obvious complete disregard for science in this case?

you're ignoring the science coming from the entire planet and cultures that can't agree on the tastiness of bacon, yet somehow they've come together to use only a "couple guys" datasets and defraud the planet?

and that seems logical to you?
rational?

really?

is that really the basis of your argument?

you want people to believe the conspiracy while offering only the opinion of limited datasets because you can't comprehend the science or the experiments that they're founded upon?
Eikka
2 / 5 (4) Jan 24, 2017

so you're saying that the known laws of thermodynamics, physics (etc) and the validated studies that underpin climate science is somehow wrong?


No. If climate science was just theoretical thermodynamics, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

The question is about, are we seeing what is really happening out there, and are we making the right conclusions and interpretations about what we are seeing to be put into the thermodynamics theories. Then after that - assuming we are - it's a question of whether our politicians and leaders and media are presenting us this process in a reliable and unbiased way instead of latching on to the direst most politically expedient messages and selling those.

Eikka
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 24, 2017
you're ignoring the science coming from the entire planet and cultures that can't agree on the tastiness of bacon, yet somehow they've come together to use only a "couple guys" datasets and defraud the planet?


That's your version of the narrative. Have they? Most people aren't even commenting on the matter because they have no means to study it, so it's highly disingenuous to claim that the climate science comes from "the entire planet".

The point is, half the data out there is just a smattering of shipping route thermometer dips dating back to the 18th century, mostly on the northern hemisphere, or ancient wood cores and pine cones. etc. etc. This is then extrapolated into a global dataset and said "That's what's going on".

It's a lot fuzzier than people would like to admit. The scientists do, but the politicians and "fact salesmen" don't.

Eikka
3 / 5 (2) Jan 24, 2017
Let me illustrate the point a little further.

Suppose you're interested in creating a climate transport model to see how the global temperatures affect the climate at the poles. You've got 40-50 years worth of known, at least semi-reliable semi-accurate, temperature data of the globe, so you construct your transport model of the climate on that.

But it's still quite weak, because a mere fit to a known data set doesn't tell you whether it's right or wrong - to falsify your transport model, you'd have to wait 30-40 years to get enough NEW data and see whether the model accurately predicts it.

But there's another way - you could obtain more old data, so you dig down to a million years of ice cores at the poles and start inferring past global temperatures - but, how do you translate old polar ice cores to global temperatures? Well, you have your transport model to link the two together.

But wait a minute... can you see what's happening there?
Eikka
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 24, 2017
the entire world uses the same data sets from the same "few guys"...
and your source or validation for this claim is?


There are ample measurements of global temperatures done by many independent groups TODAY, over the past couple decades. Somewhat fewer sets by fewer people down to about 1950's when satellite measurements began, and then the amount and the number of sources for data starts to dwindle and become more sporadic and patchy.

Beyond that begins the inferences and interpretations, which anybody can make but only a few are accepted as the de-facto "real deal" which everybody in the climate sciences use for lack of anything better. The climate scientists need a consensus on what the history WAS in order to operate at all, because otherwise it's just he-says-she-says, which is another point people forget when appealing to the 97% consensus.

If you claim otherwise, please give me a satellite heat map of Europe from when the Neanderthals ran the place.
Eikka
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 24, 2017
Mind you, I'm not an anthropogenic climate change denialist - I find no reason to distrust or doubt the honesty of the science so far - I'm merely in opposition to the climate change in politics and society where bullshit has started to substitute for fact.

The moment you start to use counterpropaganda to combat what you think are false notions is the moment you admit you don't think you have a sufficiently convincing argument in the first place.

That being the case, why would you push it?

Eikka
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 24, 2017
Or, and this is the most important point of it all:

People have less trouble accepting AGW is true in general; instead, the main issue is in accepting the particular conclusions you make of it.

When they can't accept or trust the latter, they reject the former, and trying to win them back over by appealing to the "97%" is just a bullshit argument because those 97% are not all on your side.

It's counterproductive since it reveals just how desperate you are in trying to get people to accept a (political) point of view rather than just agreeing on a matter of fact.

So when Al Gore goes around scaring people, preaching that baby seals are drowning unless you pay him his speaker's fee and throw ash on yourself, people get turned off on AGW. Asking those people to believe it again because of the 97% doesn't work, because it sounds like you're trying to sneak Al Gore back in. It doesn't work because so many people try to make AGW into something more than a fact.
carriosity
1 / 5 (4) Jan 24, 2017
I think an important point to make here is that every human being has a supreme right to their own opinions, even if they are deemed to be incorrect by people who hold opposing opinions. And it is my opinion that science itself has locked humanity into this downward spiral of destroying our environment. Science today is a business like any other, carried out only with the support of trillions of dollars either garnered through corporate backing to make the vastly rich even richer, through government support to better 'control' the people and make the powerful even more so, or through privately funded projects to satisfy someone's curiosity. The truth of science is that they've set the fire that they're now trying to blame on the public. The current, and growing, dismissal of science by the public is partly based on the fact that 98% of findings or developments do not affect, much less improve, the human condition AT ALL. Science is out of touch and this article proves it.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (6) Jan 24, 2017
So we're being asked to cut off our balls because 97% of fortune tellers say so

No, we are asked to behave like senisble human beings (or even just greedy human beings) because the course of action they propose will save you a ton of taxes and also mean you can live in a vastly cleaner environment free of THE major reason for geopolitical tension. I still fail to see how anyone cannot want that. Care to explain why you don't want that?
gkam
1 / 5 (4) Jan 24, 2017
"That being the case, why would you push it?"
---------------------------------

This is hilarious coming from that source. Go back and see your too-many posts.
Captain Stumpy
4.2 / 5 (5) Jan 24, 2017
The question is about, are we seeing what is really happening out there, and are we making the right conclusions and interpretations about what we are seeing to be put into the thermodynamics theories
@eikka
this is not the question because we really are seeing what is happening and if you have even a modicome of respect for facts you can see for yourself that the models that have been used to make predictions are pretty damn accurate
Then after that - assuming we are
we are, you're just not liking the science
it's a question of whether our politicians and leaders and media are presenting us this process in a reliable and unbiased way
cop out BS argument
the political side of this is where all the problem lies because the politics don't reflect the science
-and you know it-
so your argument thus far is that you're accepting opinion over fact because you don't like the conclusions being produced by the science

2Bcont'd
Captain Stumpy
4 / 5 (4) Jan 24, 2017
@eikka cont'd
That's your version of the narrative
no, it isn't
the other abrahamic religions can't agree eating pork but they are reporting the same scientific conclusions regarding AGW that everyone else is
are you saying that the only nation that can aquire data from the global climate is the US?
this is rational to you?
it's highly disingenuous to claim that the climate science comes from "the entire planet"
1- if you read the studies then you will find that the US is not the only nation publishing climate science data
2- last time i checked, places like France, Germany, Belgium, Sweeden, China, India (etc ad nauseum) were not located in the US and they were not US scientists working from US data sets
but i am also a little more familiar with geography and political borders than you, apparently... and i know i am more familiar with AGW journal studies as i've seen all the above nations represented in them to date

2Bcont'd
Captain Stumpy
4 / 5 (4) Jan 24, 2017
@eikka cont'd
Mind you, I'm not an anthropogenic climate change denialist - I find no reason to distrust or doubt the honesty of the science so far - I'm merely in opposition to the climate change in politics and society where bullshit has started to substitute for fact
really?

sorry, i am not able to agree with that considering the above diatribe

for starters, i absolutely hate the politics and BS, but i am not the one making a claim that the entire planet is not really involved in the data collection that points towards AGW

can it be a better dataset with more points?
yep - and it's working that way with collection (maybe - can't say for sure that our new POTUS will fund science given his proclivities)

your argument above, however, is full denial of science while then backpedaling and claiming you don't like the politics

and sorry, but your arguments can't be taken any other way, especially when you actually explain them and validate my point
Captain Stumpy
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 24, 2017
@eikka, about this
The moment you start to use counterpropaganda to combat what you think are false notions is the moment you admit you don't think you have a sufficiently convincing argument in the first place.

That being the case, why would you push it?
because of people who can't accept facts and don't comprehend what science really is

it has far reaching implications that don't apply to just AGW - but to cults, pseudoscience and other quackery

why do people ignore valid factual information for their beliefs?
how do you combat that level of delusion?
knowing this helps us learn how the human brain works and how to combat delusional behaviour like deniers manifest - it is vital to know for future presentations of factual data

it is actually an old tactic - from war
paraphrased from Sun Tzu:
learn the way and mind of the enemy and you will be able to comprehend their thoughts making it easier to formulate a plan to conquer them
danR
1 / 5 (1) Jan 24, 2017
"97 percent of climate scientists have concluded that human-caused climate change is happening" -- phys.org

"97% of scientists agree on manmade climate change" --Ars Technica

A direct quote is a direct quote, and is denoted by double-quote marks. It does not denote paraphrasis.

Do not consider me 'inoculated' yet.
rodkeh
1 / 5 (2) Jan 24, 2017
So we're being asked to cut off our balls because 97% of fortune tellers say so

No, we are asked to behave like senisble human beings (or even just greedy human beings) because the course of action they propose will save you a ton of taxes and also mean you can live in a vastly cleaner environment free of THE major reason for geopolitical tension. I still fail to see how anyone cannot want that. Care to explain why you don't want that?

Please don't play with yourself in public.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (5) Jan 24, 2017
Please don't play with yourself in public.

A cogent argument as ever.

I wonder: can you actually make one?
rodkeh
1 / 5 (3) Jan 24, 2017
Please don't play with yourself in public.

A cogent argument as ever.

I wonder: can you actually make one?

You no doubt wonder about a lot of things.
antigoracle
1 / 5 (4) Jan 24, 2017
So we're being asked to cut off our balls because 97% of fortune tellers say so

No, we are asked to behave like senisble human beings (or even just greedy human beings) because the course of action they propose will save you a ton of taxes and also mean you can live in a vastly cleaner environment free of THE major reason for geopolitical tension. I still fail to see how anyone cannot want that. Care to explain why you don't want that?

You are so blissful in your imagined world of alternative facts.
gkam
1 / 5 (5) Jan 24, 2017
"alternative facts", like deniers, come from conservatives.
Benni
1 / 5 (3) Jan 24, 2017
"alternative facts", like deniers, come from conservatives.


Just like your 5 Star upvote for Jonesy's advocacy for the assassination of President Donald Trump earlier today as found here:

https://phys.org/...try.html

Yeah, it's been pulled from the active circulating list, but I downloaded it before Physorg pulled it as I knew they would. It characterizes about you every negative portrayal anybody here has ever made about you.
gkam
1 / 5 (4) Jan 24, 2017
Oh, benni, is ta hat your screed now? That I allegedly gave a five to someone who opined in jest he wanted to blow up a bas***d?

Are you calling our president a bas***d?

Where is the Secret Service? Off somewhere laughing because they have the same opinion?
gkam
1 / 5 (4) Jan 24, 2017
It is not just fake news, but the integration of that with other actions such as the complicity of the FBI and its head, James Comey, a holdover from Georgie Dubya Bush. If you look at his pronouncements, they precede exactly the polls which fell in the last week.

Complicity with a foreign and hostile government to pervert our elections, . . hmmmmmm.

What is that called?
MRBlizzard
5 / 5 (2) Jan 24, 2017
Could we improve this and use it against ISIS recruiting?
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (3) Jan 25, 2017
You no doubt wonder about a lot of things.

Thanks for proving my point.
PhyOrgSux
3 / 5 (2) Jan 28, 2017
Anyway this idea of using "facts" to inoculate against "lies" is nothing new. Probably most people are aware of the propaganda in Soviet Union, for example.

And in any case the fact that "a majority agrees with something" does not magically make that something a "fact" (actually whether a majority agrees to something or not is irrelevant to whether something is actually a fact or not). Most people know of cases where most of humankind had viewed something as being a "fact" until it was later found out to not to be so.
SiaoX
5 / 5 (2) Jan 29, 2017
We also have to develop safe vaccine against the vaccination hoax, which wouldn't lead to autism of conspirators involved.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (3) Jan 29, 2017
Anyway this idea of using "facts" to inoculate against "lies" is nothing new. Probably most people are aware of the propaganda in Soviet Union, for example.

Have you had a look at the US history books through the 1980's? Propaganda wasn't exclusive the Soviet Union.

And in any case the fact that "a majority agrees with something" does not magically make that something a "fact"

Thats why it's important to understand the difference between a vote and a consensus.
leetennant
5 / 5 (5) Jan 29, 2017
Or to explain it in another way:

The 97% consensus argument is dangerously close to arguing on the lines of, "Look, atheists, youre in the minority - almost everyone agree God exists; we just don't agree on which God."

Point being, are you really in agreement if you're betting on a different one?


Yes, that's why I pray before I take a step before God might decide to turn this 'gravity' thing off. I mean, it's only a scientific consensus, right? That doesn't mean it's actually real. I also avoid planes because I don't believe they can fly. All these 'scientists' might agree but what does that really mean? I don't just accept their 'opinion' on these things. When I get sick, I self-treat with mercury because I read somewhere that antibiotics are a ploy by big pharma and people used mercury to treat illness for years.

I ain't no 'consensus' sucker!
leetennant
5 / 5 (5) Jan 29, 2017
If believing in climate change is a prerequisite for being a climate scientist, as is the case, then why should we be surprised that the overwhelming majority of climate scientists do just that?

To understand my point better, think of this example:

Claim 1: No one knows more about bigfoot than bigfoot experts.

Claim 2: 98% of bigfoot experts believe in bigfoot.

Conclusion: Since 98% of the people who know the most about bigfoot agree bigfoot is real, bigfoot is definitely real. The thoughts and opinions of bigfoot non-experts are irrelevant; they're ignorant bigfoot denialists.

This is, essentially, the same line of reasoning that the climate change defender uses.

Now do you see the flaw?

http://rightsmart...science/


That's why I do weather forecasts with a rain dance rather than asking one of these echo chamber 'meteorologists' with their inherent belief in meteorology.
RealityCheck
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 29, 2017
Hi all. :)

Unless understanding subject and attendant objective reality/implications is readily demonstrable via scientific method of enquiry/concluding, one can have NO RELEVANT opinion.

Ie, without understanding:

- effects of HFCs on atmospheric Ozone Layer: you can have NO truly scientific opinion unless you objectively prove your own 'second-hand belief' was got from others arriving at same via objective, informed scientific method enquiry/concluding PROCESS;

- effects/causes of air pollution (like in China, India etc today): you can have NO truly scientific opinion about the terrible air/land/water/food pollution/contamination that was afflicting USA etc when environmental constraints were lax/absent (as in China/India etc today!);

- benefits of car SEAT BELTS: you can have NO legitimate scientific opinions/objections...;

- effects of DDT on birds critical for diseases-vector insects control:... etc.

- effects of atmospheric CO2 increases:...etc.

Cheers. :)
KelDude
5 / 5 (3) Jan 30, 2017
@AKSDAD with a comment like "Apparently their magical powers aren't working because "action on climate change" ranks dead last among priorities in a worldwide survey". This shows how completely devoid independent thought is amoungst folks in a "worldwide survey". The evidence is overwhelming, you can go to numerous places and see for yourself, yet it's easier to deny all and continue on. Look around, how many species have been killed off in "your area of the planet"? We're going through the largest "die-off" in millions of years yet because the pace is beyond the perception of most people. We cannot live on this planet with only farmed salmon and farm raised beef along with our millions of hectares of monoculture crops. Pesticides killing bees everywhere, overfishing of large species like tuna and cod (remember the Grand Banks?). Even birds mostly because we humans have a fetish for having a pet cats. Open your eyes people
rodkeh
1 / 5 (4) Feb 04, 2017
KelDude
......We're going through the largest "die-off" in millions of years....


YES, because the levels of CO2 are at the lowest they have ever been in the history of our planet. If you cut off their food, they will die! Just ask the dinosaurs, they died out, when CO2 hit bottom. The whole planet is dying for lack of CO2.

CO2 is fundamental to life, all life, on land and at sea.

The sooner we start increasing CO2 production, the sooner we will see the Garden of Eden reborn.

Captain Stumpy
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 08, 2017
When I get sick, I self-treat with mercury
@leetennant
i prefer bleeding and prayer cause it is obviously more powerful being that it's the direct line to the sky faerie
That's why I do weather forecasts with a rain dance rather than asking one of these echo chamber 'meteorologists' with their inherent belief in meteorology.
cut it out!
... you're flooding my driveway!

at least do a few extra turns to the right so that my blackberries and tomato's can get a little rain once in a while, eh?

thanks!

LOLOL

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