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OldLeatherneck

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Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« on: February 26, 2013, 12:32:28 PM »
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs



 I still remember "Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs" and believe that it can help us understand and explain why so few people are concerned about the future impacts of Climate Change and why others are so adamant in cling to a Culture of Denial. 90+ % of the world's population is mired at the bottom two levels of Maslow's Hierarchy striving to meet their Physiological and Safety Needs on a daily basis. Can't really blame them for not worrying about will happen to other peoples 10, 20 or 50 years from now. At the top of the Maslow's Hierarchy is Self-Actualization which is defined by achieving a state of Morality,Creativity, Spontaneity, Problem Solving, Lack of Prejudice and Acceptance of Facts. Not many of us here can claim that we are close to acheiving Self-Actualization, however, the denialists with their inability to accept scientific facts, unwillingness to solve problems an the lack of any moral compass are certainly nowhere close to achieving this state of being. My thoughts are that too many of the denialists are trapped at the middle levels of the hierarchy trying to find Love/Belonging and Esteem by succumbing to the peer pressures of family, certain religious groups, political factions and a biased media. While I am disheartened at times with the blatant lies and distortions of truth, it helps when I sit back and try to understand what is influencing their actions and thought processes.
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Edheler

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2013, 03:34:25 PM »
Your post reads like you're trying to rationalize why you pity a certain part of the population. There certainly isn't any understanding of the motivations behind those who deny the science because you have painted with entirely too wide of a brush. I could prove my assertion but it would be far, far off topic because I would have to introduce other widely held positions of both the left and the right. Neither the right nor the left own the ethical or moral high ground.

Shared Humanity

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2013, 12:17:02 AM »
I believe the resistance we see is actually systemic. While individuals play a role, it is within the context of the larger system.

To get a better understanding of systems behavior, read "Thinking in Systems" by Donella H. Meadows. She is a brilliant woman, came out of MIT where systems thinking grew up in the 1960's and presents a fairly dark picture of systems behavior as it relates to human civilization. She authored "Limits to Growth".

The underlying message From Donella Meadows?????

Growth systems (capitalism) constrained by a finite resource (mother earth) have only two possible outcomes. They either arrive at a dynamic equilibrium or they crash. The logic of any system and the only real goal is to perpetuate itself. As rational actors within the system we serve to perpetuate it as well. If we do not transform the system from within, we will crash.

Furthermore, growth systems, constrained by a finite resource, which have significant time lags in feedback loops (AGW) are almost certain to collapse. The "system" is crashing. We will see an ever increasing quantity of "rational" decisions (by rational I mean consistent within the logic of the system of capitalism) that deliver increasingly irrational results. Fracking is an example. In a desperate effort to prop up our fossil fuel fed system, we will destroy our potable water.

Numerous examples exist in nature which demonstrate what a crash looks like. It will be hell on earth. There are examples of the impact on human civilization in nature as well. Think Easter Island. What were the inhabitants thinking as they cut down the last tree?





Lucas Durand

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2013, 12:31:46 AM »
We will see an ever increasing quantity of "rational" decisions (by rational I mean consistent within the logic of the system of capitalism) that deliver increasingly irrational results.
This is similar to what Nassim Taleb describes as "naive intervention".
It's a dynamic that is highly relevant to our times yet that seems to be largely overlooked.

Thanks for the book reference.

Edheler

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2013, 01:58:53 AM »
I believe the resistance we see is actually systemic. While individuals play a role, it is within the context of the larger system.

I feel it is a bit of a cop-out to hold people blameless for their bad actions because you feel that the problem is systemic. You are again painting with much too wide of a brush.

Growth systems (capitalism) constrained by a finite resource (mother earth) have only two possible outcomes. They either arrive at a dynamic equilibrium or they crash. The logic of any system and the only real goal is to perpetuate itself. As rational actors within the system we serve to perpetuate it as well. If we do not transform the system from within, we will crash.

Capitalism isn't a system which requires growth to operate. There isn't any significant reason to believe that we will not eventually reach dynamic equilibrium. It may only happen after traumatic events but I doubt you find another economic system which is more efficient than capitalism short of the discovery of something completely unknown today. I find most of the people who want to blame capitalism for our woes today can't understand that corruption is the problem. Corruption is endemic in any system operated by humans regardless of the economic system.

Furthermore, growth systems, constrained by a finite resource, which have significant time lags in feedback loops (AGW) are almost certain to collapse. The "system" is crashing. We will see an ever increasing quantity of "rational" decisions (by rational I mean consistent within the logic of the system of capitalism) that deliver increasingly irrational results. Fracking is an example. In a desperate effort to prop up our fossil fuel fed system, we will destroy our potable water.

Sigh. I live 0.3 miles from a natural gas wellhead which was drilled using fracking. I also make money off of that well. There hasn't been any contamination of our water supplies in my local metropolitan area. I do know of a few cases of contamination that are within the Marcellus Shale area but not what I would call my local metropolitan area. As best as I have been able to learn, and I certainly had the interest to look into the problem because it was before my local well was dug, nearly every case of contamination is due to roughly three reasons: someone fucked up, the specific geology of the well was not what was expected or that the geology was seismically sensitive to the fracking process and fractured rock above.

The companies doing the work certainly are learning a lot about how to do it safely and sometimes that is at the expense of making mistakes. If you believe the movie Gasland is generally true then you have been sold a bridge. If you're on this site clearly you feel that the science of AGW is convincing and you should look into the scientific evidence about the dangers of fracking because they are not quite what you seem to think they are.

I do find it interesting that we can agree that the economic system is crashing yet hold such diametrically opposed opinions as to why. One of us has to have a particularly severe case of cognitive dissonance.

Numerous examples exist in nature which demonstrate what a crash looks like. It will be hell on earth. There are examples of the impact on human civilization in nature as well. Think Easter Island. What were the inhabitants thinking as they cut down the last tree?

We really have no idea what they were thinking. It could have been that they had an end of the world prophecy and were doing all they could think of to stave it off.

By the way, I have read both of the books you listed. Limits to Growth is certainly the better of the two but I find many of its assumptions to be simplistic. While I generally think they were on the right path I am not willing to limit myself to using the resources of only our pale blue dot.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2013, 02:00:45 AM by Edheler »

Shared Humanity

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2013, 02:58:11 AM »
Edheler...

I always thoroughly enjoy a good discussion. I am generally wary when I encounter individuals who seek to assign attributes to another in posting their responses. Given you seem to use this method to engage, you will have to excuse me if I don't choose to discuss issues with you.

I would like to give examples of what I mean....

1. "people who want to blame capitalism"  I do not blame capitalism and am, in fact, a highly rational and successful actor in the system. Econ and MBA degree from University of Chicago and a comfortable 6 figure salary.

2. "a bit of a cop out to hold people blameless" Not a cop out, simply explaining that highly intelligent and ethical people can exercise good judgment and the system can still produce bad results. No one would suggest that the scientists that developed thalidomide intended to cause dreadful birth defects. The problem was a delay in the feedback mechanism. Pregnancies take 9 months after all.

3. "a particularly severe case of cognitive dissonance" It has been my experience that people interested in a real exchange of ideas might label this as "differences in perspective" but then perhaps you really aren't interested in such an exchange.




Shared Humanity

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2013, 03:12:38 AM »
Edheler...

I just reread your comment to Old Leatherneck and this tendency to assign motivation and or attributes to others seems to be a bad habit.

You see, I actually read his post as an interesting introduction into the topic of why we see resistance to solid science around global warming. I think his use of Maslow's heirarchy of needs would serve to explain how most people are too busy taking care of family to worry about these larger concerns. With 4 adult children, most of my energies for the past 30 years was to care for them. I chose to add another view that expanded on how individuals can be rational actors in a system and have that system generate irrational and destructive results.

Edheler

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2013, 04:09:59 AM »
1. "people who want to blame capitalism"  I do not blame capitalism and am, in fact, a highly rational and successful actor in the system. Econ and MBA degree from University of Chicago and a comfortable 6 figure salary.

Instead of discussing the actual content of my argument that capitalism is not a system that requires growth you want to shift the discussion to my characterization of your comment. I really don't really care who you are, what you do or what degrees you hold. You made an assertion which is provably wrong. Now you're running away from the discussion because I made an assertion about you, which I concede could be wrong, from what you wrote. Sorry that I don't write in a way you like.

2. "a bit of a cop out to hold people blameless" Not a cop out, simply explaining that highly intelligent and ethical people can exercise good judgment and the system can still produce bad results. No one would suggest that the scientists that developed thalidomide intended to cause dreadful birth defects. The problem was a delay in the feedback mechanism. Pregnancies take 9 months after all.

Do you really want to argue about the merits of Thinking in Systems? I think that she was wrong in many of her conclusions and I feel that I can back up my arguments. Certainly nothing is absolute, people can individually do bad things for good reasons. I was challenging your unwritten assumption that people must collectively do bad things for what are seemingly individual rational reasons. Logic doesn't have to be a scarce resource.

3. "a particularly severe case of cognitive dissonance" It has been my experience that people interested in a real exchange of ideas might label this as "differences in perspective" but then perhaps you really aren't interested in such an exchange.

So am I not "sensitive to your feelings" and shouldn't call things as I see them? I despise political correctness as it only limits discussions needlessly. Please develop a thicker skin; it will serve you well on internet discussion forums. I tend to say what I think and mean what I say and I am sure that some find it disconcerting. Think of it as an advantage, you will rarely doubt where I stand on an issue.

I just reread your comment to Old Leatherneck and this tendency to assign motivation and or attributes to others seems to be a bad habit.

You see, I actually read his post as an interesting introduction into the topic of why we see resistance to solid science around global warming. I think his use of Maslow's heirarchy of needs would serve to explain how most people are too busy taking care of family to worry about these larger concerns. With 4 adult children, most of my energies for the past 30 years was to care for them. I chose to add another view that expanded on how individuals can be rational actors in a system and have that system generate irrational and destructive results.

I understand your point but you don't seem to understand I found his argument to be offensive. I am quite certain that my opinion is reflected in my response. If we were discussing this in person I am sure that you would understand from my body language that I did not deliberately mean to be offensive but the internet is a lousy medium of communication. Maslow's theory has been seriously challenged over time. I have many issues with not only his categorization but also his placement of particular attributes. Your argument from authority is also a bit offensive. Your family really doesn't matter in the discussion at hand.

I feel that we would be far better served by ignoring the knee-jerk reaction of the science denialists. Some of them will never be convinced, and your systems argument has merit if we were to limit our discussion to only that segment of the population. I however do not believe that the majority of those who might be considered to be in that camp are unreachable. I think we only have to use different arguments. The arguments I would suggest may be antithetical to other positions that the political left hold. This makes it extraordinarily difficult to achieve positive results.

Neven

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2013, 02:23:05 PM »
Darn it, had written a whole comment and then pushed the wrong buttons.

Capitalism isn't a system which requires growth to operate.

Edheler, could you expand on that? It's something that interests me, but I lack the brains to think it through or the time to read others who did.

If you kick out the irrational neoclassical economic concept of economic growth, can that which is left still be called capitalism?

Mind you, I don't have anything against capitalism or free markets. I'm just asking whether capitalism can do without limits-defying 'logic' from neoclassical economics that has been dominating societies and universities for a long time now.

---

On-topic: I largely agree with Oldleatherneck's OP. It's good to dive into the psychology of AGW fake skeptics. It also helps to learn about oneself. One thing to keep in mind, is that most fake skeptics are old and white, which is probably the reason they won't aspire to Maslow's last stage. They were born in an age without today's opulence and surplus, and have then only seen things go up, up, up. I suspect they consider today's level of material possessions to be the peak of human existence.

I'm basing myself on the way of thinking and behaving that I have observed in the generation of my parents (babyboomers).
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crandles

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2013, 03:20:39 PM »
If you kick out the irrational neoclassical economic concept of economic growth

In part it depends what you mean by this. If you simply mean that the conclusion that governments should aim to maximize growth. (Governments have other aims like regulating what needs to be regulated....)

Most of economics is based on individual parties each wanting the best for themselves. A much more extensive idea of kicking out the concept of economic growth would involve altering this significantly. However much you may have ideas of wanting to modify this behaviour, such behaviour is likely to still continue.

If you are just wanting to amend the government aim, then I think practically all of economics still stands and you are just changing the discussion of what governments aims should be. Like practically all of economics, I think capitalism remains untouched.


I guess you want to give greater weight to feelings of contentment that would arise from knowing the world is not being damaged or being damaged less such that we are on a sustainable path. Economics has the concept of utility that can to a certain extent deal with other issues besides money/wealth etc. The problem is that it is difficult to measure and so tends to get swept away in favour of dollars that we can measure. I expect you and lots of people want to improve on the simplifying assumption of ignoring it because it is hard to measure/value. Doing so involves finding a solution to the difficulty of measuring/valuing it. If you can do that then I think the discussion of what the governments aim should be will naturally get updated in the direction you want.

Basically, I don't see that you are trying to remove any foundation of economics.

Neven

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2013, 03:27:46 PM »
Darn it, because my first post was destroyed, I wrote the second one too hastily.

If you kick out the irrational neoclassical economic concept of economic growth

I meant to say: If you kick out the irrational neoclassical economic concept of infinite growth.

Sorry.
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crandles

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2013, 03:41:33 PM »
Where does anything in economics assume or need infinite growth?

Lucas Durand

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2013, 04:06:24 PM »
Where does anything in economics assume or need infinite growth?
crandles,
I'm not sure it is written down anywhere...

That the practice of neoclassical economic theory has so far resulted in an orgy of non-linear growth is just observation.
That the continuation of this practice will be infinite is an assumption based on observation of past behaviour - though obviously this assumption cannot hold true, hence the moniker of "irrational concept".
« Last Edit: March 02, 2013, 04:29:17 PM by Lucas Durand »

crandles

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2013, 04:32:59 PM »
though obviously this assumption cannot hold true

Is it obvious? I think we can continue discovering and developing for a very long time. If in the very distant future we run out of things to discover maybe the growth rate then approaches 0 and maybe decline if we go out towards end of the universe. Such limits hardly seem relevant.

OK, there may be some potential obvious dips to come as we decide against more carbon use.

What of this? Does the economic idea of parties acting on their own self interest fall apart? I don't really see that. We are able to do less but the self interest continues. Similarly economics continues in a recession.

(However, I am not really sure what it means to kick out an observation rather than an assumption.)


Edheler

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2013, 05:25:31 PM »
Darn it, had written a whole comment and then pushed the wrong buttons.


I tend to write my comments in a text editor to save myself from doing that. I just paste them into the box when I am done. :)

Capitalism isn't a system which requires growth to operate.


Edheler, could you expand on that? It's something that interests me, but I lack the brains to think it through or the time to read others who did.


First, just to make sure we're on the same page here is a definition of capitalism:

: Wikipedia
Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of capital goods and the means of production, with the creation of goods and services for profit.


If you think about a zero-growth system where there are no new material inputs everything in that definition still works. People will still take existing materials and expend energy transforming those materials into a product that others will purchase. The profit part doesn't really mean what most people think of as profit today. It is profitable for the producing individual if they sell their product for enough money to sustain themselves.

I am not sure if you are familiar with the concept of the velocity of money. The basic idea behind it is that economic activity is higher in an environment where money is changing hands more often. The same idea could be used with materials to measure the velocity of materials. The faster that existing materials are recycled and returned to productive use within the economy the more economic activity you have. Both of those examples though are still what you could call growth systems. I just wanted to point out that growth and consumption aren't necessarily linked. An economy can grow by just becoming more complex.

If you kick out the irrational neoclassical economic concept of infinite growth, can that which is left still be called capitalism?


I believe that there is no functional difference in a zero-growth or even negative-growth system and thus it can still be called capitalism.

Mind you, I don't have anything against capitalism or free markets. I'm just asking whether capitalism can do without limits-defying 'logic' from neoclassical economics that has been dominating societies and universities for a long time now.


So long as there are more and more humans we need growth of the food supply and by implication the transportation system to move the food to where it is consumed. Growth seems like a logical requirement because there have been very few historical examples of negative population growth over a longer period of time without the population being under extreme stress. I am very interested in the ultimate outcome of the experiment underway in China. I am also fascinated by what has happened to population growth in mature first-world economies.

One of the basic things that we're going to have to break to make our overall system work over the longer term is that governments should not be permitted to borrow money. They should also save money so that they can stimulate during bad economic times. Deficit spending only works if there is continuous growth otherwise the system collapses if that paradigm is halted for too long. In fact, we're in that situation today which is very dangerous.

What everything ultimately boils down to is energy. If we have access to more energy then we have growth. Just increasing our population as above increases our available energy. The average square meter on earth receives 4.2 kilowatt-hours of energy per day from the sun. If you multiply that out for the surface of the earth it is a staggeringly large number in comparison to all of humanities energy consumption.

We have plenty of room for growth if we can figure out how to do it. What we need to change is polluting our planet with byproducts of our activities. If you're not following my arguments for why capitalism doesn't really require growth it's probably because I am not really convinced myself that low, zero or negative growth are necessary precursors to solving the problem of AGW. I keep running aground in my own mind when I dive into the problem because all of the limits are still so far away. It frustrates me that growth gets a bad name when the problem lies more with how we grow.

Edheler

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2013, 05:25:45 PM »
On-topic: I largely agree with Oldleatherneck's OP. It's good to dive into the psychology of AGW fake skeptics. It also helps to learn about oneself. One thing to keep in mind, is that most fake skeptics are old and white, which is probably the reason they won't aspire to Maslow's last stage. They were born in an age without today's opulence and surplus, and have then only seen things go up, up, up. I suspect they consider today's level of material possessions to be the peak of human existence.

I'm basing myself on the way of thinking and behaving that I have observed in the generation of my parents (babyboomers).

I also feel it is important to understand the denialists psychology. I get to meet a lot of them as a byproduct of certain recreation which I enjoy. Many of them are much younger than you expect. Their mindset doesn't correspond well to Maslow's hierarchy of needs as far as I can tell. I might disagree with portions of his theory because I don't feel it describes me well but most of them are as different from me and we are different from each other in our philosophies. The way they think at times is really quite astonishing. I suspect that many of them, if they were introduced to the theory, would probably call it mystical bs.

I am sure that the European experience of the generation born after WW2 was vastly different from the Baby Boomers here in the US. I remember my grandmother excoriating us grandkids to eat all of our food because there were starving children in Europe. (There really weren't many starving children in Europe by the time she said this to us grandkids.) The boomers in the US seem to expect that they deserve everything that they can get from the world. If I were being uncharitable I might rename them the Spoiled Generation. You are certainly right that many of them, mostly on the political right, deny the science of AGW. I think they do it more out of selfishness than for any other reason.

I sure hope that today isn't the peak of human existence.

Lucas Durand

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2013, 05:36:47 PM »
crandles,

Is it obvious? I think we can continue discovering and developing for a very long time. If in the very distant future we run out of things to discover maybe the growth rate then approaches 0 and maybe decline if we go out towards end of the universe. Such limits hardly seem relevant.
Well, it should be obvious, even if we're just talking in absolutes.
Is it obvious to a young person that someday they will grow old and die, if something else doesn't first hasten that fate?
It should be, though young people don't tend to give much consideration to the fact.

What of this? Does the economic idea of parties acting on their own self interest fall apart?
I don't think so.
I think it might be possible to change things so that there is a better accounting of what is in a person's own self interest.
But where is it written that what is in a person's own self interest (as decided by an individual) can't also be self-destructive?

(However, I am not really sure what it means to kick out an observation rather than an assumption.)
Neither am I.

crandles

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2013, 06:24:14 PM »
crandles,

Well, it should be obvious, even if we're just talking in absolutes.
Is it obvious to a young person that someday they will grow old and die, if something else doesn't first hasten that fate?


For an economy, one person can be replaced by another person of a later generation. (Assuming we don't run out of food, ability to reproduce etc. Also reality may cause oscillating population rather than slow approach to maximum carrying capacity and slow decline in growth rate as carrying capacity and everything that can be discovered is already known.) 

Yes it is obvious that I will die. However, I don't see that as an argument that world domestic product or even my village's domestic product will fall.

I think it might be possible to change things so that there is a better accounting of what is in a person's own self interest.

Absolutely agree. (Though this does create a measurement problem.)

I hope we don't get to the point where self interest might include self-destructive actions. I am not sure what point you are trying to make there.


What does economics tend to leave out through simplification to dollars rather than utility?

I see 3 points we are interested in:

1. Waste disposal of carbon to atmosphere as an externality to production companies.
The standard economic answer is to create a tax to build in the cost to the firms concerned.

2. Fossil fuel are a limited resource. While they might build up again over millions of years, essentially for the next few generations, once they are gone they are gone. However, economics fails to account for loss of capital for the depletion of the resource. This is a stupid breaking of the idea of capital accumulation. A tax on use would again be a sensible economic response.

3. People give to charity. There is some utility from feeling you are doing something about problems. If there is utility to be gained from living in a world where appropriate action is carried out to avoid pollution harming the environment. In such a situation should the government aims be directed more at maximizing utility rather than GDP, and if so how? Again, I suggest it is likely to be a tax on harmful activities.


I am of the opinion that arguments against a tax that just amounts to self interest shouldn't carry much weight. Perhaps that is why it is often dressed up as something else.

Lucas Durand

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2013, 09:16:34 PM »
Yes it is obvious that I will die. However, I don't see that as an argument that world domestic product or even my village's domestic product will fall.
My anaology was meant to illustrate in absolute terms that all things must end at some point.
It should be obvious that this is true of human economic activity as well - even if, conceivably, that point doesn't occur until some distant time in the future.
That such a point seems so far off as to be irrelevant does not actualy make it irrelevant, it just makes it easy to ignore.

I hope we don't get to the point where self interest might include self-destructive actions. I am not sure what point you are trying to make there.
I would argue that self interest that leads to self-destructive consequences is actually quite common.
For example, consider how naivety can lead to risky sexual behaviour.

The point I was trying to make is that economic theory (any economic theory) doesn't actually provide any guarantees.
The "real world" intervenes - turning idealized economic theories (constructs of the human mind) into something different and unpredictable in practice (unpredictable in ways that can be harmful and even dangerous).
« Last Edit: March 02, 2013, 09:37:29 PM by Lucas Durand »

Neven

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2013, 10:05:09 PM »
Sorry guys, I can't participate in this discussion as I would've liked, due to, again, lack of brains and time (been busy all evening updating the concentration maps page on the Arctic Sea Ice Graphs website). Some other day hopefully.
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crandles

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2013, 10:42:34 PM »
The sun becoming a red giant and consuming our planet in 6bn years or whatever it is, is sufficiently unimportant as to be irrelevant especially as there is nothing we can do now. Greenland melting over 500 years isn't irrelevant particularly as we can act now to slow the effects but in 50 years time it would be too late to have much effect. I think almost everybody would agree that 6bn years time is irrelevant and some might claim that 500 years is too long a time-frame to worry about.

It is hard to do much about unpredictable disasters. GW is clearly predictable even if scale and time-frame are still a little uncertain. Culpability makes an even stronger case for action than just predictability.

While our views appear different, I don't see any relevance of this to whether economics is fundamentally flawed or just slightly misguided.

Lucas Durand

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2013, 01:33:37 AM »
While our views appear different, I don't see any relevance of this to whether economics is fundamentally flawed or just slightly misguided.
crandles,
Hold on a minute...
It seems we may be on two different pages.
I haven't really been trying to make that argument.

I made an observation about neoclassical economic theory which you responded to with a number of questions.
I responded to your questions.

If you want to call my comments an argument that economics is "fundamentally flawed", then I will call your conclusion a straw man.

crandles

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2013, 12:18:24 PM »
Sorry,

That was more of an 'I not sure why we are arguing or where we are going with this' sort of comment.


Lucas Durand

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2013, 12:51:53 PM »
crandles,
No worries.
I wasn't sure either.

Lucas Durand

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #24 on: March 04, 2013, 08:14:51 PM »
Found this and thought it was mildly entertaining:


And here we are 55 years later, still "debating" the issue...

OldLeatherneck

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #25 on: March 05, 2013, 07:17:50 PM »
The sun becoming a red giant and consuming our planet in 6bn years or whatever it is, is sufficiently unimportant as to be irrelevant especially as there is nothing we can do now. Greenland melting over 500 years isn't irrelevant particularly as we can act now to slow the effects but in 50 years time it would be too late to have much effect. I think almost everybody would agree that 6bn years time is irrelevant and some might claim that 500 years is too long a time-frame to worry about.

It is hard to do much about unpredictable disasters. GW is clearly predictable even if scale and time-frame are still a little uncertain. Culpability makes an even stronger case for action than just predictability.

While our views appear different, I don't see any relevance of this to whether economics is fundamentally flawed or just slightly misguided.

Crandles,

I like the fact that you brought up limiting our concerns over the future to the next 500 years.  Myself, I try to look no more than 300 years in the future.  While we have a moral responsibility to leave a viable biosphere for future generations, we can't realistically predict the impact of naturally occurring events in timescales much greater than centuries.  How many 'Pinatubo' scale, or larger, volcanoes will erupt in the next 3-5 centuries?  How many seismic events, a magnitude of 9.0 will occur in the next 3-5 centuries?  Also, if humanity can survive reasonably intact in the next century, how many advances in science and technology will have been made to alter and/or improve sustainability?  It's obvious that we can NOT concern ourselves with the probabilities of the great calderas erupting or massive meteor impacts that in themselves will trigger extinction events.

As to the discussions regarding economics, which I did not anticipate when I started this topic, I firmly believe that exponential economic growth, as currently defined, is not possible given the constraints of finite natural resources, a growing population and the devastating impacts of AGW/CC.

For those not familiar with the topic,  I strongly suggest reading Richard Heinberg's "The End of Growth".  Richard is a fellow at the Post Carbon Institute with many books and essays looking into the future we face without the abundance of fossil fuels to propel economic growth.
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Lucas Durand

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #26 on: March 05, 2013, 10:28:21 PM »
OldLeatherneck,
I know I helped take this thread off topic and I appologize for that.
And I agree with you in recommending "The End of Growth" as a good read.

Regarding crandles comments about limiting the timeframe for our concerns...
While I agree with your sentiment in principal, I feel I should point out that making reference to an unimaginably long time scale to show the ultimate impossibility of the infinite growth idea is less of an absurdity than imagining that anything can grow infinitely.

OldLeatherneck

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #27 on: March 05, 2013, 10:48:40 PM »
OldLeatherneck,
I know I helped take this thread off topic and I appologize for that.
And I agree with you in recommending "The End of Growth" as a good read.

Regarding crandles comments about limiting the timeframe for our concerns...
While I agree with your sentiment in principal, I feel I should point out that making reference to an unimaginably long time scale to show the ultimate impossibility of the infinite growth idea is less of an absurdity than imagining that anything can grow infinitely.

Lucas,

Apologies are not necessary.  It has been my experience that forum discussions tend to have a life of their own, evolving as the participants so choose.  The originator does not 'own' the topic, nor should they try to.

I think there is a big difference between using long time scales to show the idiocy of infinite economic growth and trying to predict the consequences of AGW/CC for the same extended time frames.
"Share Your Knowledge.  It's a Way to Achieve Immortality."  ......the Dalai Lama

Lucas Durand

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #28 on: March 05, 2013, 11:00:22 PM »
I think there is a big difference between using long time scales to show the idiocy of infinite economic growth and trying to predict the consequences of AGW/CC for the same extended time frames.
Oldleatherneck,
I couldn't agree more.

OldLeatherneck

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #29 on: March 07, 2013, 04:32:44 AM »
I can give another very recent example of why some people don't want to give AGW/CC a higher priority when it comes to taking action to mitigate the eventual impacts.

I live in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, which in the U.S. political spectrum is very, very red (Republican).  This is a region that embodies the most extreme elements of right wing politics in the U.S., from secessionist, to libertarians, to Tea Partiers.  Consequently, I have gotten quite involved in progressive political activities,  becoming the local fund-raising chairman and a precent chairman for the local Democratic Party.  What has disheartened me is that while most of the progressive thinkers are aware of AGW/CC, very few of them have this on their list of the top ten issues that need to be addressed.  For a long time this has bothered me.  Then tonight, I  had an epiphany.  My wife and I were having dinner tonight with the Chairman of our local Democratic Party and her husband.  These folks are the most liberal, progressive activists that I have ever met and very shrewd politically.  However, they come from old Texas money, and just today (March 6th, 2013), they recieved a check for almost $150,000 for a lease to drill for oil & gas on property they had inherited.  Is reducing or eliminating oil/gas production to solve AGW/CC high on their priority list??   NO!!
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OldLeatherneck

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #30 on: March 07, 2013, 11:37:12 PM »
Kert Davies: Legacy of Denial
Posted by Brendan DeMelle on March 05, 2013

Quotes from:http://www.exposethebastards.com/kert_davies_legacy_of_denial

"The long legacy of denial and deception will never be erased for members of what we call the Carbon Club.  They know who they are. We know who they are.  And we know exactly they have done.

............So what?  What can be done to hold these individuals and corporations accountable for their actions? What court of law will find them guilty of obstruction and deception? 

............And real people are craving answers as extreme floods and hurricanes sweep away everything they own, as “extraordinary” drought knocks farms off the map one by one, as heat waves make life unbearable.  The weather is out of whack and people are waking up one by one and want to know who to blame for their misfortune.

............The latest academic treatment linking the Arab Spring to climate change raises the stakes again.  Climate security is national security. Inseparable. Climate change is about where we live and how we live there.  About how we grow our food, our water sources, the way we build our homes and buildings…All these things are adapted to the climate of the place where we are. 

.............There will be accountability, and not only in the court of public opinion. These are moral crimes, crimes against humanity.  The stakes are high and the consequences are only starting to fall out. 

.............And if there is one thing that gets people right, left and center all riled up, its being lied to.  Good luck explaining yourself to our children and grandchildren, David and Charles Koch, Rex Tillerson and Lee Raymond before him and all the others in your denial army.  You better start now."
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OldLeatherneck

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #31 on: March 10, 2013, 01:13:46 AM »


Dr. Jeff Masters, at the Weather Underground, has written an article today about the funding sources for the AGW/CC 'Denialist Industry'.  He also includes a review of the movie "Greedy Lying Bastards".  It's hard to imagine how much research and mitigation action could have been accomplished if those same multi-million dollar investments had been spent supporting science, honest media and corrective actions!!

http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/article.html
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ktonine

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #32 on: April 13, 2013, 02:18:30 PM »
"How can they go on believing things that have been disproved over and over again, and disbelieve things that are well established? How can they think they are the best people in the world, when so much of what they do ought to show them they are not? Why do their leaders so often turn out to be crooks and hypocrites? Why are both the followers and the leaders so aggressive that hostility is practically their trademark?"

Was the author of those words speaking of climate deniers? No.  It's from a book by Bob Altemeyer titled "The Authoritarians" and available from http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/ his website in PDF.

Professor Altemeyer has been studying authoritarians and authoritarian followers for several decades.  It doesn't take long reading this book to connect the dots.  Climate change deniers exhibit all the symptoms of authoritarian followers. 

Everyone has an opinion of why deniers act the way they do - but Professor Altemeyer takes this out of the realm of opinion and puts it into the context of scientific research using numerous original case studies to show the level of self-deception these people can engage in.  There's even a chapter on strategies to deal with them.

Neven

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #33 on: April 13, 2013, 06:45:03 PM »
As if I haven't enough to read...  ???

Thanks, ktonine!
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gfwellman

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #34 on: April 13, 2013, 07:53:45 PM »
Bob Altemeyer's work is brilliant and should be required reading as the culmination of high school social studies.

Hmm ... I wonder if someone could turn it into a TEDx ?

Anne

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #35 on: April 14, 2013, 04:44:44 PM »
This looks like an interesting study, but I'm not sure it will get us any further forward.

NASA Faked the Moon Landing—Therefore, (Climate) Science Is a Hoax
An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science

Lewandowsky, Oberauer, Gignac (Psychological Science)
Abstract

Although nearly all domain experts agree that carbon dioxide emissions are altering the world’s climate, segments of the public remain unconvinced by the scientific evidence. Internet blogs have become a platform for denial of climate change, and bloggers have taken a prominent role in questioning climate science. We report a survey of climate-blog visitors to identify the variables underlying acceptance and rejection of climate science. Our findings parallel those of previous work and show that endorsement of free-market economics predicted rejection of climate science. Endorsement of free markets also predicted the rejection of other established scientific findings, such as the facts that HIV causes AIDS and that smoking causes lung cancer. We additionally show that, above and beyond endorsement of free markets, endorsement of a cluster of conspiracy theories (e.g., that the Federal Bureau of Investigation killed Martin Luther King, Jr.) predicted rejection of climate science as well as other scientific findings. Our results provide empirical support for previous suggestions that conspiratorial thinking contributes to the rejection of science. Acceptance of science, by contrast, was strongly associated with the perception of a consensus among scientists.

http://pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/03/25/0956797612457686.abstract


It’s behind a paywall, but there is an article about it here in The New Yorker, which is where I came across it.
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/elements/2013/04/conspiracy-theory-climate-change-science-psychology.html

Update: I found the whole paper (looks like a pre-pub) online here
http://websites.psychology.uwa.edu.au/labs/cogscience/documents/LskyetalPsychScienceinPressClimateConspiracy.pdf
but haven't studied it yet. I'm off to read Altemeyer now.

ETA: I regret posting this now, having looked at the paper. It lacks rigour, so don't waste your time on it. But I'll leave this post up in case someone has already clocked it and comes looking for it again.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2013, 06:07:51 PM by Anne »

Anne

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #36 on: April 16, 2013, 02:14:41 PM »
Environmentalist convert and philanthropist Jeremy Grantham was interviewed by The Guardian. The edited version of the interview, which gives the background to the financier's conversion, is here:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/apr/12/jeremy-grantham-environmental-philanthropist-interview

In 2011 alone, his foundation gave $1m to each of the leading US conservation charities, the Sierra Club and Nature Conservancy, as well as $2m to the Environmental Defense Fund, where his German-born wife Hannelore is a trustee and where Isabel has also worked. He is perhaps best known in the green world for funding the London School of Economics' Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment ($2.2m in 2011), and Imperial College London's Grantham Institute for Climate Change ($1.9m in 2011), but he funds climate researchers in India, too. He has written large cheques for the Carnegie Institute of Science, the Smithsonian, 350.org, WWF, Greenpeace and, keen to counter what he calls the "misinformation machine", funds environmental journalism at National Public Radio, the Center for Investigative Journalism, grist.org, Media Matters and the Yale Forum on Climate Change & the Media. Until last year (when he decided investigative and environmental journalism was "dying out" due to cutbacks), he funded the world's most lucrative journalism award, the annual $80,000 Grantham prize for environmental reporting.


He talks about the psychology of deniers, the threat to agriculture, how to wean ourselves off fossil fuels and his hopes for China. Takeaway quote
Asking, "Are we too late?", is not the logic for this problem. It is too late for the dodo. It is too late for the one third of arable land that we have destroyed in 10,000 years. It's too late for 10% of global biodiversity, and almost certainly another 10%, and 50/50 for yet another 10% after that. But it would be nice to end up with a planet that we can still relate to, that still has a fairly handsome biodiversity. We can still do that. There is one chance that the real pessimists are right. The chance that on our way to a 4-8C rise, and a 10-15ft rise in the oceans, which is probably what's going to happen over the next two centuries, that things will get worse before they get better, because there is inertia built into the system. You can easily imagine resource wars breaking out unless we put our best foot forward on alternative energy. This would buy us time for everything else to be solved. If you can become energy sustainable in the next 40 years and suck up the pain that will have been paid by then, then you have probably bought the time for another 40 years to transfer the whole of global agriculture into a fully sustainable system before we run out of the resources to run old-fashioned agriculture. And if you do that then, in turn, you have probably bought enough time to deal with the intractable long-term issue of metals, which are entropy writ large. No matter how careful you are with them, they slip through your fingers. In the end, you will need to use organic replacements, which will take a long, long time [to develop]. We'd better start working on it now, but not too many are and they're not getting much funding. You've got to get the population down and you've got to ignore the Economist magazine and others talking about rising population as a terrible economic problem. It is a necessary, short-term, intermediate pain to pay for the absolute minimum hope of survival, which is a gracefully declining population, because if you don't do that you will have a rapidly imploding population one day.

The full text is being published in two parts. The first is here. The second part will appear later today.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2013/apr/15/jeremy-grantham-population-china-climate

OldLeatherneck

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #37 on: April 16, 2013, 10:17:50 PM »
Thanks to ktonine and Anne for bringing some scientific relevance back into this topic.  When I started this topic I chose Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs as a launching point for these discussions, because I've seen too much of our anger and frustration with the "Denialists" being vented in ways that are not helpful to our cause and at times counterproductive.

We can't continue to tell people that they are "Blithering Idiots" (although they are) and expect them to change their behavior.  We need to turn to the behavioralists, from both psychological and sociological perspectives to help us develop the most effective means of communication and confrontation.

Thanks again for the references!!
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OldLeatherneck

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #38 on: April 30, 2013, 12:34:29 PM »
Link Between Climate Denial and Conspiracy Beliefs Sparks Conspiracy Theories
Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer
A study suggesting climate change deniers also tend to hold general beliefs in conspiracy theories has sparked accusations of a conspiracy on climate change-denial blogs.

The research, which will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Psychological Science, surveyed more than 1,000 readers of science blogs regarding their beliefs regarding global warming. The results revealed that people who tend to believe in a wide array of conspiracy theories are more likely to reject the scientific consensus that the Earth is heating up.

University of Western Australia psychologist Stephan Lewandowsky based the findings on responses from an online survey posted on eight science blogs. According to the paper, Lewandowsky approached five climate-skeptic blogs and asked them to post the survey link, but none did.


http://www.livescience.com/23027-link-between-climate-denial-and-conspiracy-beliefs-sparks-conspiracy-theories.html
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Anne

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #39 on: April 30, 2013, 02:21:53 PM »
Ah yes OLN, that's the Lewandowsky study I mentioned above - here's a link to the whole thing if you are interested.
http://websites.psychology.uwa.edu.au/labs/cogscience/documents/LskyetalPsychScienceinPressClimateConspiracy.pdf
I wasn't impressed by his method of selection or the questions he chose, and uncharitably suspect there's a bit of confirmation bias going on with him.

Anne

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #40 on: April 30, 2013, 02:33:49 PM »
Meanwhile, we've got our old friends The Daily Mail running stories like this.
Forget global warming – the Earth may soon be plunged into a 250-year cooling period, scientists have claimed.
Russian climate experts believe that every 200 years the Sun’s activity temporarily wanes and it emits less heat.
They believe this ‘cooling period’ could cause the earth’s average temperature to fall by several degrees.

I haven't seen it reported anywhere other than the usual denialist sites, and don't speak Russian so can't track down the original.

The Register (another publication that maintains a sceptical view towards warming) ran a similar story in November 2011.
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/06/14/ice_age/

It would be good to have an idea whether there is any substance in the story, and if so, how much of a brake it might apply to the warming.

Neven

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #41 on: April 30, 2013, 02:37:04 PM »
If that Abdussamatov guy is involved, I don't think it needs to be taken very seriously, if it has to be taken seriously at all.
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Anne

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #42 on: April 30, 2013, 02:46:20 PM »
Thanks, Neven. His name was new to me. It's quite instructive to see where it's been reported. Only the predictable places! If there were any substance to it, you'd expect at least one of the  media like the BBC, The Guardian, The Independent, Science Daily, whatever - to mention it.

Bob Wallace

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #43 on: April 30, 2013, 11:15:13 PM »

We can't continue to tell people that they are "Blithering Idiots" (although they are) and expect them to change their behavior.  We need to turn to the behavioralists, from both psychological and sociological perspectives to help us develop the most effective means of communication and confrontation.


The most important thing we can learn from behavioral science is that it is easiest to get people to give up an undesirable behavior by substituting a desirable behavior.

It is very difficult to suppress behavior.

If we want people to change their fossil-fuel burning ways then we need to provide them new ways to get what they want which no not involve burning fossil fuels.

Move from gasmobiles to electric vehicles.  With some range improvements and cost decreases people will be able to drive as much as they do now without the use of petroleum.

Move from coal/natural gas dominated grid power to renewable grid power.  People don't care how their light is lit, just whether it comes on when the switch is flipped.

Move to more efficiency.  Most people don't care if their big screen TV pulls 150 or 80 watts.    They just want a great big, high quality picture.

What would probably work best is to put our energies into getting people to understand that we can fix our problems with little to no cost to them.  And no pain for them. 

As people start to understand the route away from fossil fuels it will be easier to move political decisions in the direction of efficiency, renewables, and electrified transportation.


Anne

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #44 on: April 30, 2013, 11:49:59 PM »
We can't continue to tell people that they are "Blithering Idiots" (although they are) and expect them to change their behavior.  We need to turn to the behavioralists, from both psychological and sociological perspectives to help us develop the most effective means of communication and confrontation.

The most important thing we can learn from behavioral science is that it is easiest to get people to give up an undesirable behavior by substituting a desirable behavior.

It is very difficult to suppress behavior.

If we want people to change their fossil-fuel burning ways then we need to provide them new ways to get what they want which no not involve burning fossil fuels.
What would probably work best is to put our energies into getting people to understand that we can fix our problems with little to no cost to them.  And no pain for them. 
<snip>
As people start to understand the route away from fossil fuels it will be easier to move political decisions in the direction of efficiency, renewables, and electrified transportation.


Just so long as people don't feel preached at. That can be counter-productive.

jbg

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #45 on: May 02, 2013, 05:24:04 AM »
While I am disheartened at times with the blatant lies and distortions of truth, it helps when I sit back and try to understand what is influencing their actions and thought processes.
If heat waves mean warming and cold spells mean warming, and droughts and floods don't mean warming, how can there not be warming? Sounds like sophistry to me.

Anne

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #46 on: May 04, 2013, 08:04:50 AM »
"End-Times Theology, the Shadow of the Future, and Public Resistance to Addressing Global Climate Change"

A study claims that successive US administrations have failed to take aggressive policy action to curb climate change partly because a large number of Americans take a fatalistic stance on the future of the planet informed by religious doctrine.

From "End-Times Theology, the Shadow of the Future, and Public Resistance to Addressing Global Climate Change," first published in the May, 2012 issue of Political Science Quarterly, David C Barker and David H Bearce:
Abstract

The authors examine U.S. public attitudes regarding global climate change, addressing the puzzle of why support for governmental action on this front is tepid relative to what existing theories predict. Introducing the theoretical concept of relative sociotropic time horizons, the authors show that believers in Christian end-times theology are less likely to support policies designed to curb global warming than are other Americans. They then provide robustness checks by analyzing other policy attitudes. In so doing, the authors provide empirical evidence to suggest that citizens possessing shorter “shadows of the future” often resist policies trading short-term costs for hypothetical long-term benefits.
.

The study itself is behind a paywall and I haven't read it. A revised version was published a couple of days ago, which is why journalists have been picking up on it just now. (I haven't been able to discover what the revisions are.)  John Thomas Didymus, writing in Digital Journal, discusses the paper and draws together other examples to suggest there is some basis for the claims- eg a clip of Rep. John Shimkus saying in 2010 that he does not support action on climate change because "the Earth will end only when God declares it to be over."

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/349388

I'm sure anyone who's had the stomach to read below-the-line comments on articles on climate change will have come across examples of this fatalistic attitude, but as a non-American I am surprised that these eschatalogical views might actually be driving (or braking) public policy.

CraigsIsland

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #47 on: May 04, 2013, 08:34:16 AM »
A lot of money in our politics unfortunately. There's a lot of incentive for companies to advertise or pay shills to spew garbage that is parroted by others. It's disheartening when the subject from family turns into Limbaugh statements and the feeling of "gee who cares/we're too small to do anything". 

It seems to be becoming less "popular" to join that crowd; usually results like Hurricane Sandy or droughts that hurts farmers bottom line (if they're not being proactive about embracing a different climate) appears to change the tide of the conversation. I think this year will be a turning point in our society and the conversation shifts to "what can we do to prevent impact?"

Bob Wallace

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #48 on: May 06, 2013, 11:04:07 PM »
Two things are happening, I think. 

First, we are recovering from the 2008 financial crash.  That was so immense and so scary that it caused a lot of people to focus on how they were going to put food on their table.  Even the 90%+ who kept their incomes were worried.  Now most are feeling more secure and have energy to look at other, less immediate, dangers.

Second, we're building a history of "weather whiplash".  One drought, one flood, one weirdly strong or located storm can be dismissed as weather.  Build a year-after-year record of unusual events and people have an easier time understanding that something important has happened.

The true deniers are getting whittled down to a smaller and smaller percentage of the population.  They'll soon be at the level of tinfoil hatters than think the Moon landings were faked.

It's the 'on the fence' middle that is important.  There were millions and millions of them and those people are becoming convinced.

Let the Arctic Ocean go ice-free in about ~2016 and I suspect deniers will be only a tiny, unimportant niche.

jbg

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Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« Reply #49 on: May 12, 2013, 03:42:41 AM »
Second, we're building a history of "weather whiplash".  One drought, one flood, one weirdly strong or located storm can be dismissed as weather.  Build a year-after-year record of unusual events and people have an easier time understanding that something important has happened.

The true deniers are getting whittled down to a smaller and smaller percentage of the population.  They'll soon be at the level of tinfoil hatters than think the Moon landings were faked.
I think most "believers" (as opposed to deniers) either have very poor memories, can't read, or both.