Climate sceptics versus the enemies within: conspiracy culture, right wing popularism and the art of counter-subversion (Part 1)

“Man-made climate change is a myth… I think all these issues have to be settled on the base of real science, not manufactured science” – Michelle Bachmann

I’m continuing my research in what is now a very clear association between parts of the climate sceptic movement and conspiracy culture.

For those interested in conspiracy culture I plan to regularly publish lists of those texts and papers I’ve read over the past few years – all of which will be added to the libraryThis will also help set the scene for what will no doubt be the focus of this blog from this point forward: conspiracy culture and the role of values in the climate change debate.

The following post refers you to some key scholarly texts, but also why I believe they are relevant to any attempted understanding of climate change scepticism. I’m also sketching out in broad terms some key concepts based on my reading of the academic literature. From this point much of the research, writing and work of this blog will flow from my reading and interacting with scholars on the above.

There is a lot to take in here: consider this a “primer” with subsequent posts and articles discussing these concepts in more detail.

With this in mind, let us enter the world of conspiracy culture and the fear of the coming New World Order and just how much it dominates the fears and nightmares of sceptics and conservatives…

Manufacturing a global crisis with climate change: the conspiracy culture and climate scepticism link

Where to begin your understanding of conspiracy culture and its relation to climate scepticism?

That was the challenge I faced several years ago as a novice blogger with some general assumptions about conspiracy culture and the drivers of conspiracy theorists.

Was it all simple paranoia?

Where these people somehow unwell?

Is this a new political phenomenon?

What I found was surprising – to me at least.

Conspiracy culture is more pervasive than one would image and has been shaping politics in surprising ways – more so than it is generally understood by those of us assuming people view the word in the same logical, Enlightenment model of the world employed by the scientists or the “rational” individual.

If the evidence is overwhelming, acceptance – or belief – should follow.

Right?

As it turns out reason is somewhat in short supply and conspiracy theories have been flourishing on the margins of politics and debate for decades and have now erupted into the mainstream.

Ideas once considered fringe have become been accepted by millions and by elites: indeed, nearly all GOP American presidential candidates have dismissed the science as not merely flawed, but “a myth” and hoax (see above).

This is conspiracy culture bursting into the mainstream and shaping the politics of a super power. 

As scholars of conspiracy culture have warned for decades now, such wide-scale adoption of conspiracy culture has the potential to distort the political process.

Indeed, the lamentable state of the climate change debate and the continuing rejection of the science by sections of the public and conservative political elites could possibly be traced to a growing acceptance of conspiracy theories and their currency in what is often called the “culture war”.

Thus the Michelle Bachmann’s and Sarah Palins of the world – the ultra-religious conservative American politicians both touted as possible Presidential candidates – noted for their rejection of climate change, evolution and embrace of free markets are not an aberration.

They are the products of a specific culture, part of which embraces and extols conspiracy theories and the rejection of certain forms of knowledge as the product of “satanic forces” that must be both refuted and countered.

Introductory and general texts

The following introductory texts are a good as place to start as any.

A culture of conspiracy: apocalyptic visions in contemporary America by Michael Barkun – Barkun provides a useful framework for understanding conspiracy culture: the different types of conspiracies; how conspiracy theorists are attracted to “stigmatized” knowledge”; and the strong association between right-wing popularism and “new world order” paranoia. Personally, this is my favoured text.

Enemies within: the culture of conspiracy within modern America by Robert Alan Goldberg – Another favourite text of mine, Goldberg’s text clearly demonstrates conspiracy culture is nothing new to American politics: indeed, the argument could be made that it has always been part of politics and not an aberration of the political process.

We tend to see the likes of the Tea Party, the hysterical paranoia of Glenn Beck, Birthers and Truthers as something new: the fact is every decade spawns a new class of conspiracy theorists in response to political and world events.

It was inevitable – indeed, it should have been foreseen – that conspiracy theorists would react to climate change and filter it through pre-existing conspiracy theories.

The following text provides context and the long history of conspiracy theories and how they have shaped politics:

Real enemies: conspiracy theories and American democracy, World War 1 to 9/11 by Kathryn Olmsted – This text really helped my understanding that every decade conspiracy theories are reborn and repurposed to soothe the anxieties of the time. Did you know that prior to World War 2 significant sections of the Republican Party believed President Roosevelt was a secret socialist who intended to establish a dictatorship by expanding the Federal government to such an extent it would control every aspect of the individual’s life?

Reading such works was illuminating, especially the parallels with conspiracy theories that have wide currency at the moment. Indeed, it was surprising to find that in the immediate aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor right-wing conservatives started theorising the President allowed the Japanese to attack as a pretext to usher in a fascist regime – a variation of the false flag theory.

Sound familiar?

The truth is out there: the role of the media and popular culture

Both the internet and popular culture have been critical in shaping conspiracy culture (and vice versa). This will be explored more fully but a good place to start is here:

Conspiracy theory in film, television and politics by Gordon B. Arnold – This is a terrific primer on how popular culture has influenced and shaped conspiracy culture. Starting with how Hollywood responded to the “reds under the bed” paranoia of the 1950s it traces the evolution of conspiracy themes in film and television until the early twenty-first century.

Arnold’s book makes a strong case for the idea that fringe conspiracy beliefs were “mainstreamed” by the media and made more palatable to a general audience. Perhaps we see this mainstreaming of “conspiracy ideation” manifesting itself in the large numbers of people who believe Obama was not born in the United States or 9/11 was an “inside job”.

We live in a culture in which new conspiracy theories are ripe for adoption by the public and even members of the political, media and business classes. But there is more to this than an overabundance of conspiracy theories wrapped up in entertaining movies and shows such as “The X-Files”.

We also need to consider the rise of right-wing popularism.

Strange bedfellows: the emergence of right-wing-popularism and its fusion with climate scepticism

The roots of the “culture war” can be seen in the rise of right-wing movements who have sought to wind back the role of government, implement “market solutions” and return society to “traditional values” – what I have tentatively been referring to as neo-fundamentalism (to distinguish it from neo-liberalism).

Thus understanding the emergence of what is referred to as right-wing popularism (RWP) and how this may have impacted the climate change debate is critical.

This broad-based “movement” was the product of the cold war paranoia about socialism and a reaction to globalisation, the civil, women’s and gay rights movements and the massive cultural and societal changes of the past decades. One can also see it the emergence of the “moral majority” and strident evangelical strain of religion in the US and other parts of the globe.

I’d recommend the following text that to help decode the messages and arguments (while tracing the history) of the radical right and the seemingly impossible contradictions of their arguments and world views:

Right-wing popularism in America: too close for comfort by Chip BerlotThis is a must read in any attempt to understand contemporary politics in America – from libertarians to fundamentalists, the rise of the right-wing is charted brilliantly.

Belort makes the argument – forcefully and correctly I believe – that for the past 60 years the extremist and radical fringe within the US (I would argue Australia to a lessor extent) has sought to capture the conservative movement while pushing their radical agenda of libertarian economics, social conservatism and religiosity.

As the issue of climate change “heated up”, a popularist and conservative reaction to the perceived regulatory and cultural changes also came into being.

The threat of more regulation, arguments for less consumption and the necessity of global agreements literally terrified the conservatives and those with a right-wing predisposition – it fuelled their fear of New World Orders, reds under the beds and wind farms as agents of disease.

More discussion on this to come… enjoy the those texts if you get a chance.

The next posts will explore conspiracy culture a little more and make the argument that climate sceptics see themselves as the “saviours” of science and traditional values, and are engaged in what one could call “counter-subversion” angainst “the enemy within”.

42 thoughts on “Climate sceptics versus the enemies within: conspiracy culture, right wing popularism and the art of counter-subversion (Part 1)

  1. john byatt says:

    Excellent Mike and spot on

    Just grounds is an extreme right wing forum of fundamentalist OWG conspiracy theorists sounding board,

    here is a sample from one member, also member of the climate sceptics party forum, invitation only

    I have long been a student of theology, having embarked at an early age on a ‘search for truth’. I remain an independent thinker, however, and cherish my spiritual and intellectual freedom – the right to think and evaluate for myself. There are many branches of theology, and it is just as important to be discerning in one’s theology as it is in the field of climate science.

    It is important to remember that Jesus said, “The truth shall make you free.” One of hallmarks of a cult, however, is the engendering of fear and bondage. I have come to view AGW alarmism as but another ‘religious’ cult, with its hallmark sign of promotion of fear and bondage. Its devotees, in their religious fervour, wish to enslave us all in their ‘worship’ of the false god of the environment.

    It is the subversive agenda of this false religion that distinguishes it from true environmentalism. “By their fruit ye shall know them’, Jesus said. False religion engenders fear. Jesus asks us to have faith, including faith in God to oversee the natural realm. I am privileged to have experienced God’s miraculous, supernatural deliverance in times of crisis, in ways that, on occasion, have defied scientific explanation. Hence I have absolutely no doubt that He who created the natural laws can act outside those laws if He should choose to do so. Therefore I have complete faith that God in His omniscience and omnipotence is more than able to ‘save the planet’ if the need should arise. What we as Christians should guard against, however, is any complicity in the evil agenda of global domination, which the Holy Scriptures actually long ago foretold.

    I believe that ‘the earth is the Lords’ and I have always seen it as my duty to care wisely for my little part of His realm. In fact, I know that many of the members here are landowners who are very environmentally aware and responsible stewards of their land. I am also supportive of any genuine measures to reduce actual atmospheric pollution (of which CO2 is not a part) and to improve God’s earth.

    this is in Australia not the deep south USA

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      Thanks John, and I agree… It exists in Australia. We can thank our nativist tradition and the infusion of conspiracy culture – meshed with existing conservative thought – for such views.

      Good find!

  2. Eric Worrall says:

    Interesting that you don’t even consider the possibility that you are suffering mass hysteria.

    There have been at least 3 major outbreaks of mass hysteria in recent history worth noting – witch burning, Lysenkan biology, and of course catastrophist Eugenics.

    Sceptics believe catastrophist Climate scares are simply a new outbreak of mass hysteria.

    The catastrophist Eugenics movement is particularly scary. Like Climate hysteria, Eugenics hysteria led to large international conferences to discuss how best to manage the crisis – no mean feat in the early 1900s.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Eugenics_Conference

    Many universities across the world created large departments dedicated to studying the Eugenics crisis. The Cold Spring Harbour institute was founded to study the Eugenics crisis.

    All 3 hysterias shared some common characteristics:-

    a) A sense of imminent crisis. With witch burning, the crisis was the rising power of Satan. With Lysenkan Biology, the crisis was the failure of Soviet Agriculture, and the need to feed the people. With Eugenics, the crisis was the perceived rise of genetically unfit people (imbeciles and cripples), which was placing an intolerable burden on productive society.

    b) Harsh sanctions against anyone who disagreed with the theory behind the hysteria. Lysenkans were particularly harsh, scientists who denied Lysenkoism, and insisted in believing in genetics and evolution, were ostracised, lost their jobs, and were otherwise brutalised by order of Lysenko, who for a while had a seat on the Supreme Soviet.

    c) A lack of direct evidence that any crisis actually existed. The Eugenicists for example postulated a crisis in the future, based on their model projections of genetic degeneracy, but could not demonstrate a crisis was actually occurring here and now.

    • john byatt says:

      One minute “no one is accepting the science” then he claims that they all believe it due to mass hysteria,

      So what is it eric, you only get to pick one

      • Eric Worrall says:

        There must have been scientists who thought the Eugenics crisis was nonsense. In fact there were a few critiques, but mostly they were drowned out by the wave of enthusiasm for this new craze.

        Thankfully now we have the Internet. We can read in the Climategate emails, for example, that most of the scientists in the solar terrestrial physics community think that solar forcing can account for climate change in the 20th century.

        http://www.ecowho.com/foia.php?file=3165.txt&search=solar+terrestrial+physics

        So when you talk about a consensus, you must mean “a consensus of scientists which does not include solar terrestrial physicists”.

        But somehow this qualification gets left out when people discuss the climate science consensus.

      • john byatt says:

        No reply as usual

        http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/

        Phil Jones
        Simon Tett and I went to conference that the press releases relates to. This was in Tenerife last week. The conference was entitled solar variability and climate, but climatologists were very thin on the ground…Many in the solar terrestrial physics community seem totally convinced that solar output changes can explain most of the observed changes we are seeing. The far-sighted ones are begining to doubt with the rapid rate of recent warming, however.
        … There was nothing new at the conference, but the solar terrestrial group are not going to go away. The next IPCC report may keep them quiet for a while, but trying to downplay solar influences in thier mind will probably be impossible. As with the greenhouse skeptics they are so set in their ways and have little comprehension of our literature beyond what they read in Science and Nature.[Phil Jones][51]

        “ The range of scientific opinion is quite broad on the topic of how much climate variability and change is driven by solar variations. Nevertheless, as more observational data and improved statistical analysis techniques become available, it is becoming increasingly obvious that solar variations are important. For temperature, many scientists now feel that natural solar variations were the main contributor to the early 20th century warming that occurred between about 1910 and 1950. The dramatic warming since 1980, however, cannot be explained by changes in solar output. [UEA’s Tim Osborn, Nov 2000

        Note the date

      • rubber taster says:

        John,

        He’s running out of puff, poor old thing.

        The record is stuck on Eugenics, Lysenko and Hitler. (Notice his unhealthy obsession with these three topics? Strongly suggestive of projection.)

        Not one scientific argument to be seen.

  3. George Papadopoulos says:

    Well just to add to the discussion, maybe climate change proponents also suffer from hysteria, believe in conspiracy theories and look for satanic traits in others. Here are two examples:

    http://newmatilda.com/2012/09/26/antiwind-problem-waubra
    http://www.theglobalmail.org/feature/a-field-guide-to-the-war-on-wind-power/406/

    • Brian Dodge says:

      Right. Tom Droz is just a lonely kook, who doesn’t work for the American Tradition Institute, and didn’t call a meeting with Americans for Prosperity, (which is funded by the billionaire Koch brothers, attacking Obama for his support for solar and wind power), plus The American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec), (which also has financial links to the Kochs, and has drafted bills to overturn state laws promoting wind energy). And they didn’t plan “… setting up “dummy businesses” to buy anti-wind billboards, and creating a “counter-intelligence branch” to track the wind energy industry.”

  4. rubber taster says:

    Mike

    Thanks.

    You keep posting ’em and Eric keeps proving your points.

  5. Eric Worrall says:

    Sorry for my absence – sometimes work intrudes on my life of big oil funded leisure.

    There appears to be an interesting PBS special coming up on why you guys lost the debate (h/t WUWT).

    I’m sure it will be full of dark conspiracy theories about big oil vested interests, but given PBS showing surprise footage of Watts recently, just maybe they are responding to viewer pressure to provide a more balanced narrative on the climate issue.

    Meanwhile you can amuse yourselves with this hilarious rant by one of your own, about why you lost.
    http://www.themonthly.com.au/how-vested-interests-defeated-climate-science-dark-victory-robert-manne-5853

  6. catweazle666 says:

    Oh, and just to give you crazy Watermelons some idea of what you’re up against:

    http://blog.sfgate.com/morford/2012/10/02/revolting-tar-sands-of-love/

    Signed

    A Scientifically Illiterate Evil Satanically-Inspired Big Oil Funded Planet Raping Climate Change Denying Conspiracy Freak (According to you lot, at any rate).

    Really and truly, do you lot really believe you are going to achieve the effect you claim to desire – which is, I believe, to recruit the majority of the population to your viewpoint – by insulting the f*ck out of the ever-increasing number of people who disagree with you?

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      Why so angry Cat?

      • rubber taster says:

        He’s just another engineer (small ‘e’) believing he understands climate science (he doesnt) and suffers from delusions of relevance.

        Just your typical WUWT reader…

        Pity he didnt read your latest post, with pins him (and Eric) nicely:

        “Indeed, the climate sceptic movement shares many of the same characteristics and traits of right-wing popularism:

        •anti-intellectualism
        •social conservatism
        •conspiracy claims
        •producerism”

      • catweazle666 says:

        Why so angry Cat?

        Not angry at all, just highly amused and taking the p1ss.

        You people are funny, you need to stand back and take a look at yourselves some time!

      • catweazle666 says:

        and suffers from delusions of relevance.
        No, that would be you lot, virtuously beavering away trying to “Save the World” from us evil “Planet Rapers” with our giant carbon footprints. I am under no delusion whatsoever as to my place in the great scheme of things.

        anti-intellectualism
        I see the odious Eric Hobsbaum, one of your much-vaunted “intellectuals”, popped his clogs just recently. Can you wonder that large sections of the population are somewhat averse to a group that idolises a man who justified the mass murder of millions by Stalin in the cause of International Marxism, and flat refuses to condemn him?

        social conservatism
        As opposed to what, the sort of revolutionary zeal that led to the foul creed of Socialism – the religion without a god – murdering somewhere between 100,000,000 and 200,000,000 of its own people in the mid twentieth century – a greater number than all the deity-based religions managed to rack up in all of recorded history, in its pursuit of the mythological “Socialist Workers’ Paradise”?

        conspiracy claims
        What, like I and all my AGW-sceptical ilk are funded by “Big Oil” and the Koch Brothers? Perhaps you can inform me where to apply for my cheque, it hasn’t arrived yet.

        producerism
        Who do you think produced that computer that you are posting with? Or all the massive, awesomely complicated infrastructure that it depends on for its continued functionality? “Community Organisers”? Ivory tower “intellectuals” like Chomsky and Hobsbawm? Social Benefits recipients?

        No, the vast majority was made possible by lowlife scum such as we engineers that you “intellectual” revolutionaries despise as irrelevant. You want to climb down from your high horses and think about that sometime.

      • rubbert taster says:

        weasel, one of your weaker efforts. Please try harder.

        Trying to equate advances in modern society with climate denial shows how far down the hole you have fallen.

        The science you deny is the same sort of science that made the technological advances that you talk about possible.

        Everyone can see you are an angry, sad and misguided person, afraid to acknowledge reality. But you clearly are a fan of truthiness:

        “Truthiness is what you want the facts to be, as opposed to what the facts are. What feels like the right answer as opposed to what reality will support.”

      • catweazle666 says:

        Trying to equate advances in modern society with climate denial
        I am not aware that I had done anything of the sort, can you explain how you managed to produce such a convoluted explanation of my post?

        The science you deny is the same sort of science that made the technological advances that you talk about possible.
        I don’t deny science, as an engineer I am wholly bound by the constraints of science and required to have an intimate knowledge of scientific principles across a range of fields (including those of thermodynamics and phase and state change – the very basis of climate science), and its successful appliance has made me a decent living for nearly half a century.

        On the contrary, I believe it is becoming increasingly evident that it is you Watermelons who are the true science deniers, and this is rapidly becoming obvious.

        Everyone can see you are an angry, sad and misguided person
        Not even slightly angry (except when I get my utility bills and see how much the green surcharge have cost me for no good reason), most definitely not sad, in fact I’ve seldom been happier in my life, as for misguided, well, time will tell.

        afraid to acknowledge reality
        Why on Earth do you believe I’m afraid of reality? Two or three degrees of increased temperature would be of practically unmitigated benefit to humanity, unfortunately it appears that we’re not likely to get them.

        The reality is that we are going to continue to ramp up our use of fossil fuels indefinitely, from shale and gas to methane hydrates – we’ve barely scratched the surface of our reserves yet, and there is nothing you lot can do to stop it. Even if you could affect the Western government policies (and the results of various conferences from Copenhagen to Rio+20 show that you can’t) Brazil, China and India will more than compensate for any reduction.

        Now, I don’t have a problem with that, you do.

        So who is sad, angry and afraid? You lot, that’s who. And guess what, it’s going to get worse. Much worse.

        And all your p1ssing and moaning won’t make a blind bit of difference.

      • rubbert taster says:

        “So who is sad, angry and afraid? You lot, that’s who. And guess what, it’s going to get worse. Much worse.”

        “Two or three degrees of increased temperature would be of practically unmitigated benefit to humanity”

        Well done! True colours finally weasel! Your hatred of humanity is manifest. So angry, so misguided, so pathetic.

        So completely out of touch with the science and reality. Tell me again, your training in climate science is…?

        Definitely not an Engineer. Maybe an engineer. More likely a Lackey. A WUWT Lackey.

        And yep, if I’m a watermelon, you are a banana – yellow on the inside and yellow on the outside. Gutlesssss…

        [Complete disclosure – sparring aside, I should let you know that I am using you (and Eric) as a case study for a paper I am writing about climate denial and the pathology of shared delusional traits – so called folie à deux]

      • To rubber taster:

        “Plug and chug” engineers who acquired great expertise in very narrow fields via “brute force” memorization and repetition, but who fancy themselves as “polymath” experts in multiple climate-science disciplines, are a dime a dozen.

        I know, because I’ve spent years in school and on-the-job with folks like those.

        That’s not to say that they are stupid — not by any means. But they aren’t nearly as smart as they think that they are. Their arrogance blinds them to the fact that when the leave their very narrow-fields of expertise, they are often completely “lost at sea”.

      • Following up with a typo correction:

        …when they leave their very narrow fields of expertise, they are often completely “lost at sea”.

      • catweazle666 says:

        So angry, so misguided, so pathetic.

        Nope, not angry at all. Quite amused at the increasing level of invective from you Watermelons. You aren’t going to win many hearts and minds by calling people names, are you?

        But that’s not what you’re here for, is it? That’s not why you set up this echo chamber, you’re just huddling together for comfort, while out there in the real world the likes of me are burning ever-increasing quantities of fossil fuels.

        Misguided? Time will tell, is telling already, in fact. Did you really think you could pay Mother Nature off by taking more money from the little people and giving it to Al Gore?

        As for pathetic, it’s not me that’s wetting myself over a few ppm of plant food is it?

        Frack baby frack! is the cry that is going up all over the World, I don’t have a problem with it.

      • john byatt says:

        Re cat claim of demonizing deniers, suggest that he reads first comment above,

        demonizing is painting your opposition as evil or diabolical

        The comment even uses the word evil,

        and maurice strong is their anti christ, strange company you keep cat

      • rubber tatster says:

        “I know, because I’ve spent years in school and on-the-job with folks like those”

        You fit the denialist profile almost too well. Angry, white, middle aged (probably no longer married if ever married), very large chip on your shoulder, feel threatened by people with more education than you.

    • catweazle666 says:

      and maurice strong is their anti christ, strange company you keep cat

      Who is Maurice Strong?

      What on Earth are you talking about?

  7. john byatt says:

    Conspiracy theory, mass hysteria

    AGENDA 21, head vice recommended

    http://justgroundsonline.com/forum/topics/united-nations-sustainable-development-agenda-21

  8. john byatt says:

    Real Science, Steve Goddards site stolen,

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/real-science-com-update/

    Identity theft by someone with half a brain

  9. john byatt says:

    catweazle666 says:
    October 6, 2012 at 9:02 pm
    Is cat bat shit crazy ?

    You know, that’s hardly an insult coming from a representative of a group whose most prominent member is Al Gore (who by the way invented the Internet)….

    At least I know enough science to understand the carbonate/bicarbonate process involves, which judging by your post concerning the logarithmic effect of CO2 on temperature is more than you, john.

    Okay Cat I will call you out on that,

    Explain your version of the Logarithmic effect and what it means regarding actual temperature increase over the next century .

  10. john byatt says:

    You can stay silent Cat and leave some doubt as to whether or not you are bat shit crazy, or you can prove it, go for it,

    I sincerely hope that you are not serious in maintaining the following:
    The peak warming is linearly proportional to the cumulative carbon emitted
    It doesn’t matter much how rapidly the carbon is emitted
    The warming you get when you stop emitting carbon is what you are stuck with for the next thousand years
    The climate recovers only slightly over the next ten thousand years
    At the mid-range of IPCC climate sensitivity, a trillion tonnes cumulative carbon gives you about 2C global mean warming above the pre-industrial temperature.

    Even the lame IPCC does not try to maintain that warming due to anthropomorphic carbon emissions will result in linear warming. The accepted relationship is exponential.

    The warming effect lasting 1000 years is not at all the accepted truth, ie that CO2 has a atmospheric lifetime of 150 years and I believe that s an exaggeration.

    The climate only recovers slightly over the next 10,000 years. Excuse me just what were these people smoking to make that claim. the climate has changed considerably more than current trends, with out human intervention in as little as a century.

    Please the only trends that deal in absolutes ignores the fact that this figure is still a small percentage of total carbon budget for our home. The claim that the amount is cumulative is not confirmed by the facts.

    Why do you continue to print such nonsense. Will the warmers finally admit that their cause is lost, please!

    Emanuele Lombardi

    [Response: Yes, I’m seriously saying all that. You ought to try reading some of the literature sometime, including the National Research Council report on climate stabilization targets, available free for just clicking on the link. That summarizes the research on which my synopsis is based. You are confusing atmospheric concentration with emissions. Radiative forcing is logarithmic in concentration, but the concentration increases faster than linearly with emissions, since the more you emit, the less is taken up by the oceans and the more remains in the atmosphere. That effect turns out to cancel out the logarithmic behavior, giving you a nearly linear warming (at least up to about 5000 gigatonnes total emissions). All based on fairly simple carbonate/bicarbonate equilibrium chemistry. –raypierre]

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/raymond-t-pierrehumbert/

  11. john byatt says:

    Evidence that the warming has been linear

    WASHINGTON — Global surface temperatures in 2010 tied 2005 as the warmest on record, according to an analysis released Wednesday by researchers at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York.

    The two years differed by less than 0.018 degrees Fahrenheit. The difference is smaller than the uncertainty in comparing the temperatures of recent years, putting them into a statistical tie. In the new analysis, the next warmest years are 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2009, which are statistically tied for third warmest year. The GISS records begin in 1880.

    The analysis found 2010 approximately 1.13 F warmer than the average global surface temperature from 1951 to 1980. To measure climate change, scientists look at long-term trends. The temperature trend, including data from 2010, shows the climate has warmed by approximately 0.36 F per decade since the late 1970s.

    “If the warming trend continues, as is expected, if greenhouse gases continue to increase, the 2010 record will not stand for long,” said James Hansen, the director of GISS.

    Cat will now present his evidence that it has been logarithmic, or not

  12. […] is the diffusion of right-wing popularism from the United States into Australian political culture, and the blending of conspiracy culture […]

  13. […] 2012/10/04: WtD: Climate sceptics versus the enemies within: conspiracy culture, right wing populari… […]

  14. ann says:

    thanks this

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