The Fox Effect: Murdoch’s patronage of deniers and his war on science

murdoch

Via Skeptical Science:

A new study published in the journal Public Understanding of Science (PDF available here) surveyed a nationally representative sample of over 1,000 Americans in 2008 and 2011 about their media consumption and beliefs about climate change.

The results suggest that conservative media consumption (specifically Fox News and Rush Limbaugh) decreases viewer trust in scientists, which in turn decreases belief that global warming is happening. In contrast, consumption of non-conservative media (specifically ABCCBSNBCMSNBCCNNNPR, The New York Times, and The Washington Post) increases consumer trust in scientists, and in turn belief that global warming is happening.

The study is here:

There is a growing divide in how conservatives and liberals in the USA understand the issue of global warming. Prior research suggests that the American public’s reliance on partisan media contributes to this gap. However, researchers have yet to identify intervening variables to explain the relationship between media use and public opinion about global warming. Several studies have shown that trust in scientists is an important heuristic many people use when reporting their opinions on science-related topics. Using within-subject panel data from a nationally representative sample of Americans, this study finds that trust in scientists mediates the effect of news media use on perceptions of global warming. Results demonstrate that conservative media use decreases trust in scientists which, in turn, decreases certainty that global warming is happening. By contrast, use of non-conservative media increases trust in scientists, which, in turn, increases certainty that global warming is happening.

The “War on Science” has been running for decades, and it is time to call to account Rupert Murdoch.

It is now clear the climate sceptics would have remained far more marginal had it not been for Murdoch’s patronage.

As I wrote earlier this year:

Rupert Murdoch’s News Limited, which controls 70% of the Australian print media, are without doubt doing the Australian public a great disservice with their constant stream of climate disinformation.

It is not enough for News Limited to shape the narrative as “believers versus sceptics”, thus creating a sense of false balance. They take it a step further by willfully distorting the public’s perception about the causes of climate change while simultaneously undermining their trust in the scientific community.

And:

Why is it that Fox News, The AustralianThe Wall Street Journal and all other organs of the Murdoch empire are unanimous in their contempt for the science? Consider this…

The climate debate, from Murdoch’s perspective, is as much about forestalling action as it is about Rupert Murdoch.

It is about Murdoch’s king making and opinion making abilities. It’s about his power. It is about how much he has, and how effectively he can wield it.

It is about how media power shapes the conversations we have in political debates, around the proverbial water cooler and over the BBQ on a Sunday afternoon.

How much does it say about the power of Murdoch and News Limited (which fervently believes it can shape the tone of all political conversation within our nation) that it can no longer control the debate or public perception on climate?

What does it mean when public opinion slips from the control of the opinion makers?

Lose the ability to shape the debate, and you lose the kingdom.

All empires are fictions and all power is perceived.

This is especially the case today with the internet reshaping the media, rendering the traditional gatekeepers less relevant than they once were.

A king-maker who has built his empire on public perception, mass entertainment and sports broadcasting understands this intuitively.

From the Tampa Affair, the denial of the Stolen Generations and the climate debate, Murdoch has sought to shape our nation and values for decades.

Does it come as a surprise that public respect for the media in Australia is at all-time low? This is not a coincidence, nor some chance correlation.

News Limited’s reporting on climate change is at odds with people’s everyday experiences of a changing planet. Should you believe Andrew Bolt or the evidence of your home burning to the ground over Australia’s “Angry Summer”?

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47 thoughts on “The Fox Effect: Murdoch’s patronage of deniers and his war on science

  1. Alan Lappin says:

    Rupert Murdock believes in science that makes money; a true disciple. In the case of science that places human greed under the microscope he becomes a complete atheist, just like many other greedy human assholes.

  2. astrostevo says:

    “The “War on Science” has been running for decades, and it is time to call to account Rupert Murdoch.It is now clear the climate sceptics would have remained far more marginal had it not been for Murdoch’s patronage.”

    &

    “The climate debate, from Murdoch’s perspective, is as much about forestalling action as it is about Rupert Murdoch.

    It is about Murdoch’s king making and opinion making abilities. It’s about his power. It is about how much he has, and how effectively he can wield it.

    It is about how media power shapes the conversations we have in political debates, around the proverbial water cooler and over the BBQ on a Sunday afternoon.

    How much does it say about the power of Murdoch and News Limited (which fervently believes it can shape the tone of all political conversation within our nation) that it can no longer control the debate or public perception on climate?

    Quoted for truth.

    Very well written – now and in the past on this. Thankyou.

  3. Mickey Reno says:

    louploup2 says: Again, I got to “Do you really think there was a roughly 50-50 split on votes for Obama vs Romney among the MSNBC staff in the last election?” and had to stop. (Well, I did glance up and see “Murderer Bill Ayers, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zhinn, Communist Workers Party, etc.” in the last paragraph. Ugh.) You are setting up a dichotomy where Obama is “far to the left.” You’re wrong; he is somewhere to the right of Richard Nixon.

    louploup, you completely ignored my question. I want to know which media outlet you think represents the dead center of American politics? BTW, the 50-50 thing was just my impromtu attempt to define a metric by which one might make such a determination of centrism based on objective criteria. A 50-50 split vote during a Presidential election MIGHT act as such a metric, might it not? If you don’t like it, please ignore it and tell me your criteria. And meanwhile, I won’t enumerate my strong disagreements with several other points in your replay, because I don’t wish to inadvertantly say something that upsets you and derails you from answering.

    • louploup2 says:

      Why should I bother engaging with someone who is so clearly oblivious to political reality as to call MSNBC and Obama far left? There is no single “media outlet [that] represents the dead center of American politics.” It is futile to even try to conduct such an exercise. Yes, a 50-50 national vote split is somewhat indicative, but that too is fraught with complexities; start with America’s favorite, racism, and the fact that the entire process is slanted by a non-democratic electoral process from start to finish. Basically, it depends on the issue; “dead center” depends on the question you’re asking. I think about half of Americans are so oblivious to what’s going on in the political and economic world as they pursue their middle class daily life that the question is really irrelevant. More than 40% of eligible voters didn’t even do so in 2012; doesn’t that tell you something?

      • Mickey Reno says:

        I’m not sure why you should communicate with me. But not communicating because I have a different view of Obama and leftism from you seems a bit odd. But you certainly don’t have to. Or, like a good debate instructor might say, maybe you should talk with me because I have a different view than you? I’m here to persuade. I want to show that I am open to conversation, and that there’s no need to dismiss me out of hand, just because I distrust CAGW alarmist dogma (and I do include Cook’s Fox News study into that bucket).

        I hope everyone can take an honest interest in their political opponents real opinions, and what they really think, over some stereotypical oversimplification of those opinions created as propaganda by that person’s political opponents. That’s sort of why I came to “WatchingTheDeniers” in the first place, to give you all a more nuanced view of one person whom you almost automatically seem to want to dismiss and insult.

        Are you familiar with the phrase “thought stopper?” Thought stoppers are words and phrases that serve as heuristic short cuts, and they are specifically used to short-circuit argument and further thinking and reflection on topics that may still be very much in reasonable dispute. Don’t fall prey to thought stoppers. CAGW skeptics have some valid opinions. You can dismiss us all with thought stoppers. But you will be the one to suffer for that, not us.

        Anyway, thanks for understanding my 50-50 metric. When you said that, I thought, hey, It’s almost like we’re actually communicating. But you still dodged my question. By now, even without answering, you’ve said enough to clue me into where you think the political center lies. I also agree that no media outlet can definitely be said to be in the exact political center. But I think NPR, the NY Times and Washington Post are generally pro-Democratic, liberal, left leaning. But I repeat myself and that’s boring. If I am correct in my suppositions about your center, then I disagree with you pretty strongly about the right-ness / left-ness of that center. If my opinion of the center is more correct, then how might your feelings toward your favorite media outlets change?

        I’m not sure why you introduced racism or voter turnout into the discussion. I don’t see how that will help us understand media bias or cause and effect from listening to media news and opinion. If your point was just that there are many apathetic Americans, that’s obviously and trivially true.

        Finally, and as my last contribution to this thread, you mentioned complexity. I agree with you fully that complexity makes measuring and objectivity more difficult, and then things are made even more difficult if propaganda and spin is inserted into honest debate for political purposes. When factors multiply, when there are many things to measure, so many things that might escape us, so many things interacting with other variables that might change the expected behaviors of the other factors, well, it takes some serious brainpower to sort all that out. It makes it easy to make mistakes, and very difficult to make accurate predictions.

        Rock on, louploup2. ;-)

        • BBD says:

          Yawn. Can’t you compress your regurgitated denialist cant into three short paragraphs?

          Why are deniers such bloody windbags?

  4. Dan Pangburn says:

    Some deny that climate change is natural. Technologically competent science has discovered:

    Any credible change to the level of non-condensing greenhouse gases doesn’t have, has never had and will never have significant effect on average global temperature.

    GW ended before 2001. http://endofgw.blogspot.com/

    AGW never was. http://climatechange90.blogspot.com/2013/05/natural-climate-change-has-been.html

    Average global temperature is extremely sensitive to low altitude cloud area change http://lowaltitudeclouds.blogspot.com/

    What the IPCC won’t tell you http://consensusmistakes.blogspot.com/

  5. Barry Woods says:

    if you believe this Murdoch story is why there are ‘deniers’ you are absolutely certain to fail (and are also a conspiracy theorist)

    If you try to understand your opposition, you would do better, but of course you run the risk of realising they may have a point.

    • MikeH says:

      What the article actually says is

      The results suggest that conservative media consumption (specifically Fox News and Rush Limbaugh) decreases viewer trust in scientists, which in turn decreases belief that global warming is happening.

      It does not say that reading the Murdoch press turns you into a denier – you made that up.

      If you do not believe the above Barry, it does rather beg the question as to why you are a prolific troll at climate science blogs attempting to discredit climate science in general and Cook et al in particular. Are you not wasting your time?

      • Barry Woods says:

        Actually. My concern with Lewandowsky et al Moon Hoax was that he lied to me personally about the methodology. if a scientist does that in a peer reviewed journal, when even a Skeptical Science author, confirmed the lie, we shall see what the journal will do, will it protect Lewandowsky, or its own reputation.

        The fact that crurucs of the moon paper ended up named in recursive fury, lewandowsky, cook marriott et all, shows how lost the ethics people at UWA became

    • BBD says:

      Except they don’t.

      You are trolling, Barry.

  6. Here’s a taste of what Faux News (and the rest of the right-wing media echo-chamber) has unleashed on us here in the USA.

    It’s a video of Rep. Dana Rohrabacher going “full tinfoil-hat” in a town-hall meeting in Orange County, Calif just this week (scroll down a bit for a link to the actual video): http://www.thenation.com/blog/175697/science-committee-congressman-global-warming-fraud-create-global-government#axzz2bcINLuJx

    Unbelievably, this loonball is on the House Science Committee (he actually campaigned for the chairmanship of that committee). And he’s not the only loonball. Most if not all of the GOP members on that committee share his views. Science policy in the USA is at the mercy of these crazies.

    • john byatt says:

      Here in Australia we are about to elect the loon balls,

      http://uknowispeaksense.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/new-page-added/

      • Barry Woods says:

        I either have a comment stuck in moderation. More than 2 links, or my opinion is not to be seen by other readers. Hopefuly it is the former. As to date this blog is the only climate concerned blog (besides Jo Abbess) not to delete me at some point.

        Can somebody just ask John Cook and Dana Nuccitelli what gives with the Nazi photo shopped photo’s

        Imagine. If delingpole or monckton or Morano had done the same, in similar circumstances and photoshopped UKIP logo’s in the same manner. There would have been a media/blog frenzy. And I for one would also be asking of them. What is going on.

        • zoot says:

          Good to see you’ve uncovered something so awesome Barry (no, really), but this thread is about Murdoch’s patronage of deniers and his war on science (see the heading at the top of the page?).
          Now be a good boy and take it up with someone who cares. It doesn’t belong here.

        • MikeH says:

          Barry Woods and his offsider Chambers are all over the internet whining that Lewandowsky suggested he is a conspiracy theorist.

          For the life of me, I cannot see how anyone could get that impression of Barry.

        • BBD says:

          It’s having more than two links – happens to me too from time to time.

          However, you are still trolling with this nonsense about SkS. It’s all rather obvious, Barry. Rather clanging. So it would be advisable to stop before you get a whack from our host.

    • Mickey Reno says:

      Regardless of ideology, no large politcal coalition can exist in absolute purity. Political coalitions are places where, by definition, people come together from disparate places, with disparate interests, and compromise in order to achieve political power. Kooks, if they have any social skills whatsoever, cannot possibly be kept out. Some of them even win elections. Remember that Democratic Congressman a few years ago who was worried that overpopulation on Guam might cause the island to tip over (something like that, anyway)?

      The Congressman in this article was a bit hyperbolic, I’d agree. But his basic premise wass not about global control. It was an answer to Senator Barbara Boxer’s claim that the current spate of California wildfires has no clear linkage to AGW. In that, at least, he was correct. It’s wrong for Boxer to claim that as an objective truth. And The Nation magazine article supports Boxer’s mistake by repeating her charge, and then making a second similar mistake. Case 1, The Nation said:

      “Rohrbacher is one of many lawmakers who, despite living in a state reeling from climate disasters, denies the basic science of anthropogenic global warming.

      There is no scientific evidence that shows any of California’s current wildfires would never have happened had humans not emitted CO2. Nor is there any evidence that stopping CO2 emissions will stop California wildfires in the future. There are many facets to the so-called “science” of AGW and more appropriately, there are many facets of the politics of CAGW. Many of them are silly and wrongheaded, already falsified, so disbelieving in those facets is smart, correct, right-thinking.

      Then the article goes on to say

      Earlier this week, Representative Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) told ThinkProgress’s Scott Keyes that he doubts that the climate is changing. As Keyes reported, Mullin’s state has suffered from problems that have grown worse from climate change, from “massive tornadoes to widespread droughts, record-breaking heat to severe winter storms.”

      A couple of points on this statement. Of course we can quibble about Mullin’s literal claim. Of course the climate is changing. It always changes. If Mullin’s statement really meant that he thinks no human CO2 emission-based climate change is happening, he’s on to something. I personally believe human CO2 emissions probably do have a very small effect. But that effect is too small to accurately measure by all current methods. So effectively, Mullin may be excused for a small error. We can’t reliably measure human influence on the climate, so it’s pointless to say we can. Beyond that quibble, There is no evidence that suggests tornadoes or hurricanes or floods are increasing, let alone that they are now tied to human CO2 emissions. And there is evidence that areas of drought worldwide have actually shrunk (probably mostly due to improved land use practices in Africa). The premise that weather is not climate had heretofore been accepted by all, because to claim otherwise was patently unscientific and unsound. But now, the CAGW camp is doing just that, claiming, quite unscientifically, and without evidence, that weather tragedies are linked to human CO2 emissions. These claims are red-herrings. They come from the self-serving “weather is not climate, except when someone dies in a weather tragedy, and we can take advantage of the emotions of distraught people” school of political CAGW science. Shame on Barbara Boxer and The Nation for both succumbing to such fallacies, if they really believe them, and for foisting them on the public in any case.

      • john byatt says:

        so basically the climate always changes but has no effect on extreme weather events?

        no even close

        http://scholar.google.com.au/scholar?hl=en&q=climate+change+extreme+weather+events+increase&btnG=&as_sdt=1%2C5&as_sdtp=

        • Mickey Reno says:

          I’m not sure how you define climate. I usually think of it as an abstraction, basically the sum of all the world’s weather, over time. I suppose at other times, I think of climate as the world’s total energy retention / budget, combined with all the objective physics, chemistry, quantum mechanics, and evolutionary, Newtonian and biosphere feedbacks (including anthropogenic contributions) that go into that equation. When I think of climate in that more complex way, to paraphrase Joni Mitchell, I really don’t know climate at all. And I maintain that no one else does either. When one makes the claim that they do understand it, at least well enough to make concrete predictions, well, let’s just say I would consider this an act of great hubris. But in both definitions, climate always changes.

          I briefly viewed the list of scholarly papers you linked. Very impressive, I’m sure. I don’t have the time to read them all, but I’ve seen and read similar things. A lot of the papers seem to rely on computer climate models to make their dire predictions. A hundred years from now, we might know how accurate those predictions were. To be considered correct in any meaningful way, they would need to be a damn sight more accurate than Hanson’s A, B and C scenarios, all of which grossly overestimate the feedback effects of anthropogenic CO2 emissions and hence, current land temperature trends.

        • BBD says:

          Climate agnosia is denial by other means. AKA the uncertainty bleat.

          Go and find an argument. Then practice expressing it *succinctly*.

  7. cleanwater2 says:

    The weather is proving that the True skeptics are correct, Mann-made global warming is a hoax.
    The following from a lead author of the IPCC shows that there are some real scientists left in the world.
    Dr. Vincent Gray on historical carbon dioxide levels

    Posted on June 4, 2013 by Anthony Watts

    NZCLIMATE TRUTH NEWSLETTER NO 312 JUNE 4th 2013

    CARBON DIOXIDE

    There are two gases in the earth’s atmosphere without which living organisms could not exist.

    Oxygen is the most abundant, 21% by volume, but without carbon dioxide, which is currently only about 0.04 percent (400ppm) by volume, both the oxygen itself, and most living organisms on earth could not exist at all.

    This happened when the more complex of the two living cells (called “eukaryote”) evolved a process called a “chloroplast” some 3 billion years ago, which utilized a chemical called chlorophyll to capture energy from the sun and convert carbon dioxide and nitrogen into a range of chemical compounds and structural polymers by photosynthesis. These substances provide all the food required by the organisms not endowed with a chloroplast organelle in their cells.

    This process also produced all of the oxygen in the atmosphere

    The relative proportions of carbon dioxide and oxygen have varied very widely over the geological ages.

    Oxygen_earths_atmosphere_historical

    CO2_temperature_historical

    It will be seen that there is no correlation whatsoever between carbon dioxide concentration and the temperature at the earth’s surface.

    During the latter part of the Carboniferous, the Permian and the first half of the Triassic period, 250-320 million years ago, carbon dioxide concentration was half what it is today but the temperature was 10ºC higher than today . Oxygen in the atmosphere fluctuated from 15 to 35% during this period

    From the Cretaceous to the Eocene 35 to 100 million years ago, a high temperature went with declining carbon dioxide.

    The theory that carbon dioxide concentration is related to the temperature of the earth’s surface is therefore wrong.

    • Dr No says:

      Cleanwater2’s comment that:

      “The following from a lead author of the IPCC shows that there are some real scientists left in the world”

      reveals what we all know. i.e. that there are very few denialist scientists in existence.

      I will add David Vincent to my (very short) list.

      • louploup2 says:

        “there are very few denialist scientists in existence.” In fact there are NONE; the phrase is an oxymoron. “David Vincent” indeed. lol

    • louploup2 says:

      “[Dr. Vincent Gray is] a lead author of the IPCC”

      Flat out lie. He’s a 90 year old retired coal industry scientist (and Heartland associated hack) with not a single published paper to his name on the subject of climate.

  8. Dan Pangburn says:

    Many (if not all) really missed the boat when they looked at TSI, didn’t see any effect and ruled sunspots out as a factor. If they had thought of conservation of energy and looked at the sunspot time-integral they might have discovered what actually drives the average global temperature. Change to the level of non-condensing ghg has no significant effect.

    One corroborating study is described at http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2010/01/blog-post_23.html . This shows a trajectory based on the sunspot number time-integral beginning in 1610. The decline of the LIA and rapid rise since approximately 1941 are evident.

    After about 1895, accurate temperature measurements were made world wide and revealed the oscillations above and below the sunspot-number-time-integral-trajectory. The oscillations are caused by the net effect of ocean cycles (which are dominated by the PDO). The resulting graph and physics-based equation that accurately (R2=0.9) calculates the measured anomaly trend are shown at http://climatechange90.blogspot.com/2013/05/natural-climate-change-has-been.html

    Several other informative links are in the References at http://consensusmistakes.blogspot.com/

  9. Barry Woods says:

    Has anybody asked John Cook why he keeps photoshopped pictures of himself and Dana Nuccitelli as Nazi’s on his skeptical Science forum. SkSforum.org

    There private forum image folder was publically viewable due to sloppy web admin (not first time that has happened)

    The pictures are beyond puzzling, why would Cook have a photoshopped picture of himself as Himmler, with the cap badge, the label badges, and even button badge changed to the Skeptical Science logo. And the Cap isignia changed to the Skeptical Science two penguins looking at a flower logo!!

    Plus, the 1936 SS nuremburg rally photo changed to swap the Nazi logos for Skeptical Science ones and they even named the jpg – skstroopers! !

    Also a number of photo shopped pictures of Dana Nuccitteli aswell as a german soldier herrtankboy.jpg and herrscooterboy.jpg and three of Dana as Dr Who.
    Why did they create these, are you a member of the sksforum.org Mike, maybe you could ask?

    • BBD says:

      Did they create them? Have they actually said so? I haven’t been following this closely, but the pictures I have seen (WUWT) look like the sort of thing that might be created by non-fans of SkS and then posted around.

      • Barry Woods says:

        that is the fascinating thing, they have said absoultely nothing!!

        They were in a private image forum (made public by sloppy web admin)

        and their were other images were photoshopped pictures mocking Watts, Monckton and Delingpole.. (which had also, not been seen anywhere else)

        some were of Dana as Dr Who.

        there were also images mocking Prof Richard Tol (as Dana/Cook have had a twitter fight recently with Tol, you might think those were recently created)

        and as far as I can see none of those images have ever appeared anywhere else. It seems reasonable to conclude that they created them!

        the pictures were originally in the SkS forum images forum, once spotted an admin, moved them to an a11gon3 director (allgone) which were still publically accessible..

        They appear to be purely their own images.

        I’m personally not reading to much into them beyond an internal group gallopws style humour, but you have to ask a question or t about the time care and effort required to replace Nazi logo’s with the Sks logo,

        pretty crass to p shop the 1936 SS Nuremburg rally, and remane it SkStroopers.jpg !

        • BBD says:

          It’s difficult to know what to say about this except the standard caveat with anything that has been obtained and released by a third party without consent and without the original context being known.

          Perhaps they were prepared for an unpublished post on Godwin, defamation, etc. or it was an in-joke, as you suggest.

          Anyway, this isn’t an open thread, so we should get back to the topic.

    • Sou says:

      Do you really want an answer, Barry? Or would I be right in thinking are you just in the same business as Anthony Watts and Brandon Shollenberger? Looking for muck to rake and a bit of publicity.

      My guess would be that if they did it themselves they were wanting to defuse the awful name-calling by deniers who often refer to them as SS and Nazis. Laughter at those who call you names is often the best medicine. For example only a few weeks ago Anthony Watts deliberately called them SS on his blog, and got the responses he was looking for with some very nasty comments back – Himmler references etc – just what he was asking them to do. They are obedient serfs at WUWT.

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/06/10/the-ultimate-skeptical-science-cherry-pick/

      OTOH, maybe they got sent them from elsewhere. Who knows or cares?

      In any case, I’m not sure why you expect they should answer to you or anyone? The charts and other images were stolen. Brandon boasted about it. Anthony was complicit in it and made up conspiracy theories about it. Which is pretty weird, given he’s always posting mocking images of people.

      I’d have thought any honest person would be slating Brandon and calling out Anthony for taking part in it, not asking the victims of said theft to explain themselves to you.

  10. Mickey Reno says:

    Great, just what the climate debate needs, more Lewandowsky style sociological crap that seeks to smear poltical opponents.

    This study clearly (if tacitly) makes a beginning assumption that “conservative” outlets are wrong and that “non-conservative” (aka liberal) outlets are right. lf researchers want to promote the idea that Fox News is somehow brainwashing it’s viewers, but that magically, MSNBC and the NY Times are objective, pure, innocent of all political bias, then they have a far more demanding task than this paper achieves. Everything that follows from that assumption is tendentious, self-serving and circular.

    If the study had tried to be objective, it would use consistent terminology, like conservative/liberal or leftist/rightist. It would not presume MSNBC and CNN to be mainstream when they in fact are far left of center. The study would not tacitly presume that the leftist side of the political fence is “objective,” “scientific,” and “correct” a priori, as they have done.

    One unintended bit of communication this study has done is to telegraph the authors’ (correct, IMO) belief that the political leanings of the NYTimes and Washington Post is leftist, and qualitatively belongs in the same coalition with the further left CNN and even more radically left MSNBC, even though they carefully try to imply this group as not being biased.

    Where is the attempt to separate the beliefs in science vs climate policy (not easy, since most of what people get from the media is the latter, usually mixed with appeals to the authority of scientists)? Why didn’t they survey people who watch considerable amounts of both conservative and liberal media outlets and report on which side of the climate advocacy spectrum they tend to accept as more correct? Why didn’t they try to measure if leftist media watching explains why people on the left believe scientists who don’t behave scientifically? A real study would at least to try to isolate the factors that inform CAGW skepticism, without tacitly siding against them or deriding them in advance.

    But I did like the acronym PUS. Very appropriate. Experts in media analysis and public understanding, indeed! What better way to say, “hey, we’re not ideologically blinded misanthropes, but the other side is!”

    • BBD says:

      Science is science. Science denial is a facet of libertarian/conservative politics.

      • Mickey Reno says:

        Your first claim is a tautology, and pointless. Your second claim is false, and ridiculous, and if I may be so bold, suggests a bit of psychological projection.

        Consider: CAGW alarmists in the early 2000s warned that by 2010 there would be 50 million “climate refugees.” I believe a variant of this claim was also used in Al Gore’s silly propaganda movie, “An Inconvenient Truth.” Of course there aren’t 50 million climate refugees, or even 10 million. So, what happened? What went wrong. Nothing apparently, except a bit of a timing issue. Recently, a new alarmist prediction said that by 2020 there will be 50 million climate refugees.

        Excuse me, but a coalition that truly claims to value science would be in serious scientific and personal reflections about the failure of this prediction, not doubling down and pushing it back by 10 years (with only 6.5 years to go). But alarmists have never paid proper attention to many other failures in predictions by climate science, so why should they care about this one? What other failures, you might ask? Well, there’s the actual lack of warming for one. There’s been a long period with no rise of global land temperatures as measured by statistical models. This is good news, politically. But it should not be true if the CO2 warming theory is correct. When “the team” realized our world had experienced several years of no warming, they immediately began to theorize that somehow, the hidden heat was hiding in the ocean. There’s no conclusive evidence of this. But then, magically, not land temperatures, but rather summer Arctic sea ice extent became their metric of choice. This is so wrong to do, because a) we have very few years of actual data from which to make climatic level predictions and b) Anarctic sea ice is growing in extent, suggesting that even if the Arctic is warming, it’s a regional issue, not a global one, and c) a fairly unusual cyclonic storm broke up large areas of ice last summer, but this year Arctic sea ice extent is far greater and the thawing season is much shorter, all of which suggests that last year’s record low was only a seasonal fluke of natural variability, in a very short record, rather than a global climate phenomenon. Oh, then there’s the evidence that shows a stronger correlation between land temperatures and solar activity than temps to CO2 concentrations. There’s evidence that CO2 feedback assumptions built into climate models are flatly wrong. There’s clear evidence of statistical errors and even malfeasance using stats in many of the most alarmist papers (ie. the hockey stick). Prominent alarmist “scientists” are closed and hostile to the scientific processes of falsification and replication, as evidenced by alamist response to McIntyre and McKitrick, Willie Soon, Richard Lindzen, Roy Spencer and other published scientists. In short, it’s true that CAGW alarmists actively ignore their own failed scientific predictions.

        Consider how that behavior mirrors the behaviors of religious cults whose members give away all their money and material possessions because they believe their leaders’ predictions of the end of the world. I observe that those cultists never seem to be embarrassed or feel duped when the world doesn’t end. Now tell me, are you sure YOUR side in this debate isn’t the side behaving in an unscientific manner?

        • Here’s an “alarmist” response to McIntyre — a “plain English” description of the errors in McIntyre’s most publicized attack on Michael Mann’s hockey-stick. http://wottsupwiththatblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/10/debunking-the-hockey-stick/#comments

          Read through all the comments, paying especially close attention to John Mashey’s:

          The bottom line is, “alarmist” scientists can get really ticked when garbage papers containing blunders that they’d flunk their students for somehow get published and are used as political weapons against them.

          Much of the work published by McIntyre/McKitrick/Soon/etc. is laughably incompetent — but to appreciate the level of incompetence, you need to have the appropriate technical background — something that the actual intended audience for those “skeptic” papers simply does not have.

        • louploup2 says:

          Mickey Reno, you said “Your second claim is false, and ridiculous, and if I may be so bold, suggests a bit of psychological projection.”

          You are the one who is wrong, if not ridiculous. Here’s an example of the attitude repeated constantly by deniers (this one is from the WUWT thread referenced by Sou at 8:41 yesterday):
          “They ["warmists"] are calling for us to ‘abandon ship’ on the economic system that allows us to live a modern lifestyle. They are effectively advocating that most of the world’s people live like they did in the 1700′s, so that the 1% can live an opulent and unaffected lifestyle.”

          It is obvious that most of the denier crowd’s “skepticism” is based not on science, but rather on their ideologically driven, abject fear of coming resource shortages and consequent changes in economic, political, and social paradigms. Instead of dealing with reality and working for a democratic transition, deniers would rather blame the messenger with misplaced and ignorant crap.

        • BBD says:

          Mickey Reno

          Your first claim is a tautology, and pointless. Your second claim is false, and ridiculous, and if I may be so bold, suggests a bit of psychological projection.

          It is all true. You are denying the facts. The rest of your comment is the usual clap-trap and doesn’t merit a response.

    • louploup2 says:

      I stopped reading your comment when I got to “MSNBC and CNN … are far left of center”. You’re an ignoramus.

      • Mickey Reno says:

        Well aren’t you special? Please reconsider, and give me the benefit of the doubt. Read my whole post. I spent a lot of time on it, and considered my words carefully. You might like the later parts.

        I’ll ignore your gratuitous insult for a moment. In your opinion, what media outlet best represents the exact dead center of American politics? Do you contest the opinion that MSNBC is radical leftist because you think Al Sharpton and that woman who recently said our children belong to the collective, not to their parents, and Lawrence “I’m a socialist” O’Donnell, Chris “Tingles” Matthews and Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann (I know he’s not working there anymore) are centrists? How many of them do you think have voted for a Republican presidential candidate in their lives? Do you really think there was a roughly 50-50 split on votes for Obama vs Romney among the MSNBC staff in the last election? Have you heard of the recent analysis that showed that MSNBC was measured to have the lowest news to punditry ratio of any tv media outlet? I’ll stipulate that Fox News’ punditry is generally rightist. But on their news programs, and even on their opinion programs like Hannity, they include a voice from the left, like Juan Williams, Bob Beckel, Kristin Stuart, Mara Liason and others. But MSNBC’s punditry is virtually all pro-Democrat, pro-Obama, pro-collectivist/socialist/Progressive, pro-multi-culturalism, pro-Keynesian economics, pro-unlimited abortions, pro-Paul Krugman, pro-racial/victim identity group politics, pro-gun control, pro-illegal immigration, pro-occupy, pro-high taxation, anti-Republican, anti-individualist, anti-2nd Amendment, anti-George Bush, anti-Ronald Reagan, anti-free market, anti-flat tax, anti-voter ID checks, anti-Milton Friedman, anti-supply side economics. These are some of the primary definitions of leftist and rightist in American politics, in case you haven’t been paying attention.

        Have you ever seen MSNBC NOT report on CAGW climate change as if it were an established fact, incontrovertable, beyond question? I have not. I think any honest person would say they do not present many, if any skeptical arguments in the climate debate. This alone should clue you in that they are leftist politcal advocates, more than objective centrist reporters. NPR is, IMO, closer to the center, and I’ve listened to a lot of NPR, and they NEVER allowed any CAGW skepticism until last year, when they had Anthony Watts on one program. Their subscribers when bat-shit crazy, as if the world was going to end just from hearing an alternate view of the issue on one program. Many of them were threatening to withhold their support in fund drives, because of one skeptical voice on one program. These behaviors are definitional, whether you like being defined by them or not.

        Of course there are those even to the left of MSNBC. Murderer Bill Ayers, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zhinn, Communist Workers Party, etc. But not many in the media are further left. The Nation Magazine, Mother Jones, and Rolling Stone magazine (when it veers away from its entertainment mission into the political fray), are further left. But they’re fringe outlets, and reach very few people. Actually, MSNBC reaches very few people, too, some of whom are like me, and watch occasionally to see what our political opposition is espousing.

        • louploup2 says:

          Again, I got to “Do you really think there was a roughly 50-50 split on votes for Obama vs Romney among the MSNBC staff in the last election?” and had to stop. (Well, I did glance up and see “Murderer Bill Ayers, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zhinn, Communist Workers Party, etc.” in the last paragraph. Ugh.) You are setting up a dichotomy where Obama is “far to the left.” You’re wrong; he is somewhere to the right of Richard Nixon. The political spectrum and discourse in the U.S. has been moving right for decades. Perhaps you’d benefit from this new book on FDR’s New Deal: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/07/books/review/fear-itself-by-ira-katznelson.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

          No, I’m not special, but clearly I know more about political science and American history than you. You’re an ideologically blinded right wing extremist.

        • Mickey Reno says:

          I’d like to clarify my remarks about the NPR subscribers who reacted to Anthony Watts appearance on NPR. Of course not all NPR subscribers went bat-shit crazy. Most probably didn’t even hear the segment. But some did. This was a self-selected bunch, probably a tiny minority, which felt strongly enough to post on NPR’s web comments. Most NPR listeners probably tolerated Watts’ appearance just fine, or were only mildly annoyed, not enough to comment, and a few might have even appreciated him.

  11. Adam Benton says:

    It would be interesting to see if this trust in science influenced other opinions outside of the climate change debate. There might be a correlation with other “nontroversies” such as vaccines, evolution, black holes in hadron colliers and so forth.

  12. I think the problem is, in a word, greed. Murdoch and his fellow Luddites could not give a rats about the future, certainly anything beyond their lifetime. They want the creature comforts and influence wealth can bring now. It probably also doesn’t help that many of nutters opposing science also tend to be overtly religious to varying degrees. When somebody believes they are being overseen by an imaginary friend, it’s hard to focus their minds on testable evidence that runs counter to their magical thinking. I feel that nothing meaningful will happen until this current generation of dinosaurs go the way of their ancestors.

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